The criminal justice system is confusing to people who do not have experience with it, and it is also confusing for people who do have experience with it. Therefore, when someone is charged with a crime, we recommend that they hire a criminal defense attorney. This is important for all people charged with a crime, even the ones that do not understand what a criminal defense attorney does.
To some it may seem intuitive what a criminal defense attorney does or does not do, but you would be surprised how many calls we get asking. In this blog we will discuss what a criminal defense attorney does. Maybe even more importantly we will discuss what a criminal defense attorney does not do. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
Defend people that are charged with crimes
What a criminal defense attorney does is defend people that are charged with crimes. We do this by means of evaluating the case and coming up with defenses and trial strategies that would help the defendant.
What a criminal defense attorney does not do is file charges on people. We often get phone calls from people who say, “I need a criminal lawyer, I want to take out charges on someone”. That is not what we do. We would be the person defending that person. If you want to file charges on someone, call the police.
Ensure that you had due process when charged with a crime
What a criminal defense attorney does is ensure that law enforcement follows the 4th Amendment, and that you receive due process when you are charged with a crime. When you are charged with a crime you are innocent until proven guilty. A criminal defense attorney assists in holding the government to that standard of proof.
What a criminal defense attorney does not due is sue the police because you lost your job, or your wife left you, or your reputation was ruined after you were charged with a crime but later cleared. This is the work of a civil attorney. Now, there are some criminal defense attorneys who also do this civil work, but the vast majority of criminal defense attorney do not do that.
Criminal defense attorneys defend people charged with a crime; we are not usually an all-encompassing service center for every matter related to criminal law.