Criminal Defence Lawyers: Having to defend yourself against criminal charges is frightening. That is why it is important that you have someone skilled in criminal defence working with you. Overall, these lawyers play a valuable role in the justice system. But how can you tell if your criminal attorney is good enough and motivated toward your best interests?
Below are five key signs of a good criminal defence lawyer.
Understanding Their Client’s Rights
It is critical that your criminal defence lawyer protects your rights. After all, if they do not, who will? Protecting your rights starts with understanding them. That understanding comes from their years of education and real courtroom experience in cases like yours.
Your lawyer must ensure you receive fair and just treatment from the beginning of your case to the end. You cannot always expect things to progress in your favour in court, especially without good representation. But a great defence lawyer will do all they can to fight your charges and help you maintain your freedoms. They perform these services regardless of the charges against you.
Focusing on Protecting Client Rights
Good criminal defenders do not focus on proving innocence, contrary to what most people believe. They actually care little about whether their clients committed crimes. It is more important for them to use their resources, skills and experience to protect their clients’ rights and fight for their freedoms. By doing so well, they can achieve charge reduction, lesser sentences or even “not guilty” verdicts for their clients.
Fully Investigating Cases
Criminal defence lawyers are very good at investigating their clients’ cases. They cannot just rely on the evidence that police and prosecutors provide. Instead, they need to fully investigate the allegations alongside the process of discovery.
Investigating a criminal case means talking to witnesses, acquiring evidence and gathering records related to the charges. A good lawyer must also make demands of the prosecutors and others to create opportunities for their client to overcome the allegations. There are no surprises for a good criminal defender in the courtroom if they have conducted their own investigations as they should.
Knowing When to Invoke Section 7 of the Charter
Good criminal defenders know how to use the rights afforded defendants under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These rights include the right to remain silent and to not give evidence against yourself by testifying in court. Criminal lawyers also stress to their clients the importance of not talking to others about their case. They advise their clients on what to say and when to protect the case.
Keeping Clients Informed
Criminal defenders are also considered good at their jobs when they keep their clients informed. This key information includes updates regarding potential jail time and other matters that cause defendants intense stress. They ease stress by meeting regularly with their clients to discuss case matters, answer questions and ease concerns. At all times during their case, clients should feel like they are a priority for their lawyer.
Keeping Up with the Law
Criminal lawyers cannot be good at what they do if they do not keep themselves updated on the latest laws and changes to the criminal code. These updates come from ongoing research, continuing education, independent study and maintaining an active practice. Being well-informed and experienced shows in the results, they achieve for their clients.
Finding a Good Criminal Defence Attorney for Your Case
If you are facing charges as a criminal defendant, you need to pay attention to the above signs of good criminal defence attorneys. There are good, and not-so-good professionals in all fields of work and the legal field is no different. To ensure your own best fit, ask questions, evaluate their experience and go with your gut to make the best choice. By screening potential lawyers before making a decision, you can secure representation that will make a difference in your future.