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What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

Criminal defense lawyers play a critical role in the criminal justice system. Put simply, criminal attorneys provide legal representation to individuals who are facing criminal charges.

Criminal lawyers can either be private attorneys or public defenders. The kind of defense attorney a person ends up with ultimately depends on the defendant’s circumstances.

When your freedom is on the line, you’re going to want a top-notch legal defense team. If you or a loved one is facing legal issues and may be in need of a defense attorney, it is important to understand what to look for.

many private attorneys, criminal defense attorneys

When to seek out a criminal defense attorney

The first thing to consider is whether or not you actually need a criminal defense attorney. For lesser infractions, such as tickets, you likely will not need a criminal attorney. But if you are facing criminal charges—especially felony charges—you will want a criminal defense lawyer to represent your criminal case in court. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Federal crimes
  • White collar crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • Sex crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • DUI arrests
  • Traffic-related charges

What to expect from an experienced criminal defense lawyer

When seeking out a defense attorney, you want to find someone who has experience with criminal cases. The role of a criminal defense attorney is much more than just knowing the law. It also requires experience working with the local courts, judges, and prosecutors. These relationships can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.

Help you to make informed decisions

Whether the investigation into your case is ongoing or you’re preparing for your court appearance, a criminal lawyer will be there to help you make the best decision for your case. They can help present all of the information to you in a way that is easy to understand and prepare you for what you expect depending on the outcome.

Evaluate the evidence against you

Criminal defense attorneys will not only gather evidence, but they will also work with the prosecutors to exchange evidence and get the full picture of your case. They will be able to get an idea of the evidence the prosecution has against you and use it to prepare to defend you in court. The more information they have, the better they can do their job.

Negotiate a plea deal

Each case is different, but criminal defense lawyers often work with both their clients and the court to negotiate plea agreements that benefit everyone involved. Many times, this involves bargaining for a less serious charge or less jail time.

Defend you in court

If plea negotiations aren’t an option for a particular case, a criminal defense lawyer will defend their client at trial. They not only act as counsel but also call witnesses, present or dispute evidence, and petition the court for favorable sentencing.

The difference between private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders

When it comes to legal representation for a criminal offense, there are two different options. If you or a family member can afford one, you may opt to work with a private attorney. Otherwise, the judge will appoint a public defender to take on your case.

Hiring a private criminal defense attorney

If you can afford to work with a private attorney, it can be helpful to reach out to law firms that specialize in criminal law. You’ll want to work with someone who has experience with similar cases or the specific legal issue you are facing.

When it comes to criminal cases, it is important that the client wholeheartedly trust their attorney. If you are facing serious jail time, you want to know that the person representing you will dedicate all the time and resources they can to winning your case.

Working with a court-appointed attorney

Your financial situation should not and does not prevent you from accessing legal representation in the United States. In fact, it is a right under the criminal justice system to be appointed an attorney should a defendant not have the money to pay for one.

The biggest difference between a private attorney and a public defender is that you do not have a choice of who represents you with a court-appointed attorney. Public defenders work for state-appointed agencies, so whoever is assigned to your case is who you will have to work with.

Work with a law firm you can trust

If you find yourself in need of a criminal defense lawyer in the greater Chicago area, look no further than Michael J. Brennan. With over 35 years of experience representing clients in criminal law and personal injury cases, Michael has what it takes to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

When you work with Michael J. Brennan, you are working with him and no one else. He will personally handle your case from start to finish, meaning he will get to know you and the ins and outs of the legal issues you are facing.

Michael is known for his attention to detail and isn’t afraid to prepare an aggressive defense for your case. When your freedom is on the line, you want someone who will fight to get you the outcome you deserve.

We would be happy to learn more about your case and discuss how Michael J. Brennan can work with you. Contact us today at 708-766-7724 to take the next step in fighting your criminal defense case. No matter when you call, you will hear back within 24 hours to discuss your options and next steps. We look forward to representing you!

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