A Criminal Defense Attorney, or a Criminal Lawyer, is someone who acts as a defendant of any individual or company that has been facing criminal charges from the court. They defend their clients in the court and try to get those criminal charges removed. They perform this duty when it comes to criminal charges from any court be it be state, Federal, or Appellate. Criminal Lawyers work for all kinds of crimes. Some of these include; domestic violence cases, drug crimes, theft, fraud, and sex crimes.
- Duties and Responsibilities
As a Criminal Defense Attorney, one has to fulfill the following duties and responsibilities;
- A thorough investigation of the case and interviews of all the witnesses.
- Performing a detailed analysis of the evidence.
- Research on laws, statutes, criminal codes, and any procedural laws that are relevant to the given case.
- Come up with a strong defense for your client in the court and plan an effective strategy for the case.
- Run negotiations with the prosecutor or plea bargain to either take away or reduce the charges.
- Drafting, filing, and arguing of motions. These motions include motions to dismiss or motions to suppress.
- Defend your client at the time of the trial.
- Drafting, filing, and arguing of the appeals.
- Required Education, Licenses, and Certification
To become a successful Criminal Defense Attorney, one must have the following education, experience, and training.
Just like it is with any other law degree, Criminal Lawyers need to finish a bachelor degree first and then complete the law degree. It takes a total of 7 years to complete the two degrees, given that everything went smoothly and the individual did not have to put their study on hold for any reason.
Every state has its specific bar examination that the criminal attorney is required to pass if they wish to practice in that state.
Some of the Criminal Defense Attorneys obtain board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification ( NBLSC ). The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification is a non-profit organization that comes under the American Bar Association. Its job is to provide board certificates to any attorney/lawyer that applies for them.
- Skills and Competencies
As someone whose job description is to defend an individual who has been facing criminal charges from the court, it is necessary for the Criminal Defense Attorney to show excellence in the following skills if he wishes to succeed at his job;
- Writing and Communication Skills
The attorney must show exceptional spoken and writing skills as he has to defend his client and argue his case in front of the judge and the present jury.
- Research and Inspecting Skills
To come up with a strong defense, the attorney must be sure about what research he needs to do and all the investigation that needs to be carried out.
- Analytical Skills
The attorney must have outstanding analytical skills as he has to create a strategy that is legal and have to analyze relevant case laws. Only then he will be able to defend his client in the court with full confidence.
- Interpersonal Skills:
No matter how skilled, experienced, or educated the Criminal Defense Attorney is, none of this would be beneficial if they are unable to build a relationship of trust, harmony, and understanding with his client.