The Responsibilities Of A Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer is an individual who represents the accused in a court of law. The individual who has been charged with a crime is known as the defendant in the case. The victim is not directly represented in a criminal matter, the victims interests are represented by the prosecutor who is an agent of the state. When a case is being tried under civil law there is a plaintiff and a defendant, this is not the case in criminal law.

Where there is a prosecutor there is not a plaintiff in the true sense of the word as the person or entity that brings charges against the accused is considered a public agency. If the individual in a criminal case cannot afford a lawyer the state is obliged to provide one at no charge to the accused. Although there are many talented young lawyers in the system, the defendant normally hires his or her own criminal defense lawyer in Orange County.

During the course of the criminal proceedings it is the task of the defense lawyer to defend his client vigorously by using the law in every way possible to cast doubt on the case of the prosecution. In the United States it is the prosecutor’s job to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty, in court the accused is considered innocent unless proven otherwise. The defense does not have to prove that the client is innocent; the prosecutor must prove that the accused is guilty.

Saying this, there are some cases where it might help the defense to know the truth, this can often help the criminal defense lawyer in Orange County to develop a strategy that will mitigate the penalty as he can present the case in the best light, thus making allowances where there is no defense or plausible denial. Many cases where there is undisputed evidence of guilt are plea bargained before the case gets to court, in this way the accused can hope for a reduced sentence or even acquittal.
In the criminal justice system the prosecution must establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, under civil law the lawyer’s job can be tougher as guilt is lowered to simply likelihood that the accused committed the crime.

If you have been accused of a crime then you will need a criminal defense lawyer in Orange County. You are invited to contact the law offices of Christopher J. McCann for a free case review.


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