how a criminal defense lawyer protects your rights

by Dr. Elyssa Kreiger 7 min read

One of the most significant ways a Sugar Land criminal defense attorney protects your constitutional rights is by protecting your right to remain silent. Many alleged perpetrators aren’t aware of their right to remain silent or the full extent of it. Not understanding this right can get them into more trouble.

A defense lawyer works to make sure that all information between them and their client is confidential, retaining their innocence throughout the trial. Even during the trial, a defense lawyer will be working to defend you and your rights.Jul 8, 2021

Full Answer

What are my rights as a criminal defense attorney?

Dec 24, 2021 · A criminal defense lawyer defends people who have been charged with a crime. If you’re charged with a crime, and you’re innocent, you may think that you’ll be acquitted as long as you tell the truth. Unfortunately, a truthful statement may not suffice. That’s why it’s important to hire a lawyer who will protect your rights.

What does a criminal defense lawyer do?

Apr 21, 2021 · One of the most significant ways a Sugar Land criminal defense attorney protects your constitutional rights is by protecting your right to remain silent. Many alleged perpetrators aren’t aware of their right to remain silent or the full extent of it. Not understanding this right can get them into more trouble.

How do lawyers defend people regardless of their guilt?

It is often possible for you to have the charges in your case dropped altogether or, if this is not the case in your circumstances, for the charges to be deferred under certain conditions. If these situations are not possible in your situation, a criminal defense lawyer will work to have the charges reduced to a lesser charge and thus a lesser sentence upon conviction.

When is a defendant entitled to a lawyer in a criminal case?

Criminal defense lawyers must provide "zealous" representation. Another reason that lawyers can defend people regardless of guilt is that our society gives each citizen the right to be vigorously defended in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution assures every citizen due process and the right to legal counsel.

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What is the basic responsibility of the defense attorneys?

Defense Attorneys develop relationships with clients as they establish legal needs, provide counsel, help them understand their legal options. Defense Attorneys also conduct research, prepare legal documents, and perform other duties to ensure that clients receive the best and most cost-effective legal solutions.

What are the ethical duties of a defense attorney?

The defense lawyer has a duty to disclose any relevant laws or rulings to the court that are directly adverse to the defendant and that have not been disclosed by the prosecutor. The defense lawyer must avoid conflicts of interests with the defendant and all other parties involved in the case.Sep 26, 2012

Can a defense attorney defend someone they know is guilty?

Can a Criminal Lawyer Defend Someone They Know is Guilty? A criminal lawyer can defend someone they know is guilty as long as they do not lie or knowingly mislead the court.Jan 27, 2022

What is the proper role of the defense attorneys regarding their clients?

The lawyer can urge the client to plead guilty, but the accused is protected from self-incrimination by the 5th Amendment. Defense counsel can decline in private practice to represent a certain criminal. The role of defense counsel is to be the accused's advocate and try to clear that person of the charges in the case.

Why is it important to have a lawyer for criminal defense?

For this reason, the most important thing when seeking criminal defense counsel is to find a lawyer who takes their legal responsibility seriously, and will do all they can to mount a thorough defense in your favor.

Why do lawyers defend people?

Another reason that lawyers can defend people regardless of guilt is that our society gives each citizen the right to be vigorously defended in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution assures every citizen due process and the right to legal counsel. Lawyers are bound to deliver this legal right to their clients.

What is the most important thing to know when seeking criminal defense counsel?

For this reason, the most important thing when seeking criminal defense counsel is to find a lawyer who takes their legal responsibility seriously, and will do all they can to mount a thorough defense in your favor.

What is the job of a criminal defense lawyer?

The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to defend you against the charges that are presented. When charges are brought, there only has to be "probable cause" that you might have committed the crime. At trial, the prosecuting lawyer's job is to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you've committed the crime for which you're being charged.

What does "putting the burden of proof upon the prosecution" mean?

Putting the burden of proof upon the prosecution means the point of trial is all about either proving or failing to prove that you're guilty of the crime that's been charged - not knowing whether or not you're actually guilty.

Why don't criminal defense lawyers ask if you are guilty?

The reason most criminal defense lawyers won't ask you if you're actually "guilty" is that it's not relevant to the case. Also, it's not their job to find out. Their job is to defend you, and put up a fair case. As one attorney put it, their job is to "keep the system honest.".

Can a lawyer lie about a client's guilt?

An important condition to this issue is that even if a client admits "guilt" to his or her lawyer, a lawyer may never truly be certain the client's guilty. The client could be lying to cover up for someone else, or other factors may be at play. There are standards in place to keep lawyers honest: they cannot lie if they do know information pertaining to their client's legal guilt, and they also cannot offer evidence they know is false. But attorney-client privilege does protect communication between attorneys and clients. The critical thing to remember is, again, that it's not the lawyer's job to discern true guilt. The court decides this.

Misdemeanors Vs. Felonies

Within a criminal case, the prosecutors will push a criminal case to the extent of punishment by law. Misdemeanors are lesser of the crimes where the crime is punishable for up to a year in prison or extensive fines. Felonies are where the defendant may have committed a homicide, self-defense case, or grand theft.

Stand-Your-Ground Cases

In criminal cases, these are among the trickiest. Everyone has a right to defend themselves. This law was created so innocent people can use force, including deadly force, when threatened. Most times, the innocent person may be picked up by the police and taken in for questioning. This is when a defense attorney should be present.

What Do You Do If You Are Incarcerated?

If you are arrested, especially for something you did not do, do not fight back. Exercise your right to remain silent and speak only to your attorney. You have one phone call. Use it wisely. Some call their attorney right away, while others may call a loved one to have them contact their attorney.

Following Instructions

Following instructions or not can make or break your case. The attorney will run through a procedure to lessen the charges or get the charges dropped. In all situations, it is best to be 100 percent honest at all times. Tell your story and be brief and to the point. A courtroom does not want to hear a sob story; they want the truth.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

All criminal charges are serious. While the range of punishments for felonies can be more severe than misdemeanors, both can result in jail time, fines, permanent employment difficulties, and other collateral consequences.

Defender of Your Rights

As your legal counsel, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will analyze the law and facts of your case to determine any weaknesses. As a criminal defendant, you have Constitutional rights. Violations of those rights by law enforcement may be leveraged to minimize, mitigate, or defeat some or all of the charges against you.

Trial Lawyer

In many instances, a plea bargain may be in a criminal defendant’s best interest. In others, a trial may be appropriate.

Why do you need a DUI attorney?

Hiring an experienced DUI attorney is critical to make or break your case. Courtrooms can often be overwhelming. Attorneys can help with every facet of your case, from preparation and delivery to appeals (if applicable). They will help you speak, dress, and behave properly in the courtroom.

What are the factors to consider when defending a case?

There are various factors to consider when building the defense for your case, including: 1 Did the police follow proper testing protocols? 2 Do you have any medical conditions or prescriptions the came into play? 3 Was the proper testing protocols and chain of command followed for evidence? 4 Did the police stop you for a valid reason in the first place? 5 Did the police read you your rights? 6 Did the police use proper questioning practices?

What is the importance of being prepared for a DUI case?

It is essential that you are prepared for your case prior to entering the courtroom. This includes the facts, circumstances, and potential proceedings of your case. When it comes to DUI charges, the more impaired you were typically means the more punishment you will receive.

What are the factors that can help secure lenient sentencing?

These factors include: Clean driving record. Presence of prescribed medications (rather than recreational drugs or alcohol) The necessity of driving (in an emergency, etc.)

What happens if you take the steps before trial?

The steps you take prior to trial can have major effects on your verdict and sentencing. Keep reading to find out how hiring a criminal defense lawyer can help you secure the best possible outcome for your case.

What are the rights of a defendant?

The Eighth Amendment provides criminal defendants with the right to a reasonable bail and the right against cruel and unusual punishment: 1 The Right to a Reasonable Bail: Bail is set by a judge and must not be excessive. This means that bail must be equivalent to the severity of the crime and the person’s likelihood of fleeing. 2 The Right Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishments if the defendant is convicted. This right guarantees prisoners access to proportionate sentences as well as basic human rights during incarceration.

Which amendment protects defendants from being put on trial more than once for the same offense?

Right Not to Be Placed in Double Jeopardy: The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment states " [N]or shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.". In sum, double jeopardy protects defendants from being put on trial more than once for the same offense.

What is the 4th amendment?

The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures states that the government must have probable cause for searches and seizures. The rationale is that the police officers may not search a person without reasonable grounds. Additionally, illegally obtained evidence may not be used against a criminal defendant in court.

Which amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures?

The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures states that the government must have probable cause for searches and seizures. The rationale is that the police officers may not search a person without reasonable grounds.

Which amendment protects against self-incrimination?

The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination (the right to remain silent) and double jeopardy: Right to Remain Silent: The Fifth Amend ment protection states that a defendant cannot "be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.". In short, a defendant may choose to remain silent.

What is the right to remain silent?

Right to Remain Silent: The Fifth Amendment protection states that a defendant cannot "be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.". In short, a defendant may choose to remain silent. This means that the prosecutor, defense attorney and judge cannot force the defendant to testify.

Can a defendant be silent?

In short, a defendant may choose to remain silent. This means that the prosecutor, defense attorney and judge cannot force the defendant to testify. This right also protects the defendant from self-incrimination, commonly known as Miranda Rights, during arrest and at trial. This protection is exclusive to criminal defendants.

What are the rights of a criminal defendant?

Criminal defendants have several constitutional rights. Perhaps the most essential protection is the requirement that the prosecution prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But defendants have other rights, too, including the rights to: remain silent. confront witnesses. have a public trial.

What rights do defendants have?

But defendants have other rights, too, including the rights to: remain silent. confront witnesses. have a public trial. have a jury trial. have a speedy trial. be represented by an attorney. receive adequate representation. not be tried twice for the same offense (" double jeopardy ").

What is the Fifth Amendment?

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that a defendant cannot "be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." In short, the defendant cannot be forced to speak. If the defendant chooses to remain silent, the prosecutor cannot call the defendant as a witness, nor can a judge or defense attorney force the defendant to testify. (Defendants in civil cases may, however, be forced to testify as a witness in a civil case. And for information on the right to remain silent outside the trial context, see The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination .)

Which amendment gives defendants the right to cross-examine witnesses?

The "confrontation clause" of the Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to "be confronted by the witnesses against" them. This gives defendants the right to cross-examine witnesses—that is, the right to require the witnesses to come to court, "look the defendant in the eye," and subject themselves to questioning by the defense.

Which amendment guarantees public trials?

The Sixth Amendment guarantees public trials in criminal cases. This is an important right, because the presence in courtrooms of a defendant's family and friends, ordinary citizens, and the press can help ensure that the government observes important rights associated with trials.

Can a defendant be forced to speak?

In short, the defendant cannot be forced to speak. If the defendant chooses to remain silent, the prosecutor cannot call the defendant as a witness, nor can a judge or defense attorney force the defendant to testify. (Defendants in civil cases may, however, be forced to testify as a witness in a civil case.

Can a prosecutor call a defendant a witness?

If the defendant chooses to remain silent, the prosecutor cannot call the defendant as a witness, nor can a judge or defense attorney force the defendant to testify. (Defendants in civil cases may, however, be forced to testify as a witness in a civil case.

What happens to a defendant's right to counsel?

Once the criminal prosecution concludes, a defendant's right to appointed counsel becomes more limited. Defendants have a right to an attorney for the first appeal, as long as the appeal is not frivolous.

Which amendment gives the right to a lawyer?

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution grants defendants the right to have a lawyer when facing criminal charges that could result in imprisonment. Defendants may hire a private attorney of their choosing, but for those who can't afford to hire their own attorney, the court will appoint one. The government pays for appointed counsel—sometimes ...

Do juveniles have the right to an attorney?

Similarly, defendants in civil cases do not have the right to an attorney, except in very rare cases where the potential for loss of liberty exists, like in contempt cases. Children or youth in juvenile delinquency proceedings also have the right to have a lawyer to represent them.

What factors determine if a defendant is able to afford an attorney?

Courts consider several factors in assessing a defendant's ability to pay for an attorney. Employment status, assets, and income all come into play, as well as the cost of counsel in that jurisdiction.

What factors are considered when determining a defendant's ability to pay for an attorney?

Courts consider several factors in assessing a defendant's ability to pay for an attorney. Employment status, assets, and income all come into play, as well as the cost of counsel in that jurisdiction. And just because a defendant has a job doesn't mean the defendant can necessarily afford an attorney.

Can a defendant request an attorney?

Generally, pretrial proceedings are considered critical stages, and defendants can request the appointment of a lawyer at the first court appearance. Defendants also have the right to an attorney during post-arrest police interrogations, if they ask for one.

Do you need an attorney for a sentencing hearing?

Courts generally will not appoint an attorney unless a defendant faces formal criminal charges or an indictment. Post-trial proceedings. A defendant is entitled to a lawyer for any post-trial hearing that is part of the same criminal prosecution, such as the sentencing hearing.

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