Most people know that criminal defence lawyers advocate on behalf of their clients to ensure that their rights are upheld. What many may not know is that a criminal defence lawyer has a long list of requirements when it comes to serving their clients. They fulfill these duties at various stages of a case, in and out of the courtroom.
Do you know what defence lawyers do at every stage of a case? Let’s explore their responsibilities below:
Assess the Case
A criminal defence lawyer will meet with you to hear your side of the story to get started. They’ll also need to get a complete understanding of the charges, after which they’ll discuss the possible outcomes of the situation with you. Additionally, they’ll advise you on the best way forward.
Gather Additional Information
You can expect your criminal defence lawyer to do some investigation. For example, they may visit the crime scene to assess evidence or anything the police may have missed that may help your case. In addition to analyzing all aspects of the case, they’ll review the prosecution’s statements and police report and interview witnesses. They also have the right to get evidence tested by third-party labs.
Stop the Filing of Charges
In some instances, your criminal defence lawyer can meet with the crown counsel immediately after your arrest to stop the filing of charges. Of course, this will be dependent on substantial evidence and witness statements that present you in a better light.
Negotiate a Plea Bargain
A criminal defence lawyer will negotiate with the crown counsel or prosecuting lawyer to reduce charges or sentences if negotiation is part of the case strategy. They can also ask for your case to be dismissed if they’ve identified holes in the prosecution’s case.
Keep You Updated
It’s also the responsibility of the criminal defence lawyer to update you throughout the process. If there’s a new development, they’ll promptly inform you. They’ll also discuss how new information may change the outcome of the case.
Identify Key Witnesses
Criminal defence lawyers understand the value that key witnesses provide for the defence. Key witnesses can make statements that highlight your innocence and discredit the prosecution’s claims.
Defend You During Trial
Before the trial, your criminal defence lawyer will spend time developing a strategy that will include analyzing prosecution theories and helping you to answer possible questions they may ask.
Your lawyer will vigorously fight for your acquittal. They’ll be presenting their opening statement, cross-examining witnesses, presenting evidence in your favour and so on. They aim to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s argument, which may result in your acquittal.
Advocate for You After a Guilty Verdict
Sometimes the defendant is found guilty. In this instance, your lawyer will argue for a reduced sentence or alternative punishment, such as a fine or community service. They’ll also advise you on whether you should consider taking the case to the appellate court.
Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyers in Vancouver
The criminal defence lawyers at Johnson Doyle Nelson & Anderson know the law as well as the appeal process that should be used to defend and protect your best interests. We want to give you the best chance at a favourable outcome. Give us a call today for a consultation.