What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Criminal Lawyer?
Barrie criminal defence lawyer David Wilcox has been representing people charged with criminal offences since 1987. He understands how distressing it is for his clients to be faced with arrest and criminal charges, and he draws on his decades of experience to provide clear solutions and reliable legal advice. When you are charged with a criminal offence, you are at risk of a conviction and criminal record that can have significant repercussions in your life, beyond paying a fine or completing a jail sentence. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can assist you. Our Barrie criminal defence lawyer recently discussed how to choose the right criminal lawyer for your case. What exactly are the duties of the criminal lawyer you decide to hire? Below are five key roles and responsibilities of a criminal defence lawyer.
Roles and responsibilities of a criminal defence lawyer
Once you have chosen a skilled and reliable criminal defence lawyer to represent you, here are five key roles and responsibilities that the lawyer should fulfill:
1. Advising you on the range of potential outcomes. A key role of a defence lawyer is to advise you on all of the possible outcomes of a criminal conviction, both in terms of a formal disposition (for example, conditional sentence, a jail sentence, fines, or penalties), as well as any long-term consequences that may come with a criminal record (including impacts on employability, immigration, and penalty enhancement if you face pending or future criminal charges).
2. Assessing your case and devising a defence strategy. A skilled criminal defence lawyer knows how to gather evidence and will analyze your case thoroughly. Well-versed in all aspects of criminal law, the lawyer will know exactly what the Crown must prove to get a conviction. Armed with that knowledge, a criminal lawyer will identify weaknesses in the case against you and devise a defence strategy aimed at getting charges dismissed or reduced.
3. Protecting your legal rights. When you hire a criminal lawyer to represent you, that lawyer is devoted to your case and to protecting your rights. The police may have taken a statement from you in a manner that violated your rights; if so, your criminal lawyer’s role is to argue that the evidence should be supressed. Or it may be that evidence was obtained by way of unreasonable search and seizure (this is particularly common in drug cases). Your lawyer’s role is to advise you of your legal rights, and ensure they are protected throughout. That protection may result in charges against you being dismissed, or a significant reduction in the charge or penalty.
4. Guiding you to make informed decisions. When you are charged with a criminal offence, there are several decisions you will need to make at different stages throughout the criminal proceedings. Should you plead guilty or not guilty? Should you accept a plea deal, or go to trial? If you go to trial, should you exercise the right to trial by jury? Should you testify in your own defence? Your criminal defence lawyer’s role is to advise you on the risks and benefits of all of the options and to guide you to make smart decisions.
5. Securing the best possible result for you. You want the criminal charges against you to be resolved as quickly and favourably as possible. A good criminal lawyer’s #1 role is to reduce or eliminate the impact of criminal charges. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will do this in a number of ways, for example, by negotiating with the Crown prosecutor to reduce or dismiss charges. If you decide that a guilty plea is your best option, or if you are convicted, a criminal lawyer will advocate on your behalf to secure the lowest possible sentence and work with your needs (for example, to avoid seizure of assets and/or property).
Get Legal Advice from David Wilcox, Criminal Defence Lawyer in Barrie
Criminal lawyer David Wilcox has devoted his practice exclusively to the defence of persons charged with criminal and quasi-criminal offences since 1987, including impaired driving charges, drug offences, sexual assault charges, and fraud offences. If you are looking for a reliable Barrie criminal lawyer, count on David Wilcox. Our firm can help, no matter what your circumstances are. If you have been charged with a criminal offence and want to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you explore all possible defences, contact David Wilcox today. You can use our eForm or call us toll-free at 1-855-721-6642 to request your free 30-minute initial consultation with our Barrie criminal defence lawyer. If you need emergency legal services, David’s phone line is available 24 hours a day to assist you.