Legal tips for Northwest Florida residents
Anyone who has been accused of a crime is entitled to hire a criminal defense attorney to help defend them. However, not all clients and prospective clients are aware of the responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney. The role of a criminal defense attorney extends far beyond just trying to keep someone out of jail. The following are elements that a competent and reliable attorney of this type must exhibit:
One of the responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney that is most important is maintaining professional discretion. If a client tells an attorney in confidence that he or she did commit a crime, the attorney must stay dedicated to the client by keeping his or her personal information private. It is not the attorney’s duty to disclose this information to the courts. Instead, he or she may use the information to advise the client of how to plea. Additionally, a lawyer may also refuse to continue defending the party based on the information.
Another responsibility of a criminal defense attorney is educating his or her client on various aspects of the law. The lawyer should keep the client well informed of the crime of which or she is accused, the possible consequences for such, and the results of other cases of the same type. The lawyer can also make recommendations based on the best interests of the client. An educated client can then make an informed decision on how to proceed with the hearings.
Total Dedication to Defense
One of the top responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney is–as you might guess–defending their client. The attorney’s main goal should be to have the case dismissed by some technical error or mistake in the accusatory party’s procedures. The lawyer must try everything in his or her power to obtain a complete dismissal or a “not guilty” ruling by the judge or the jury.
In cases in which the courts find the client guilty, the defense attorney should then shift to trying to reduce the sentence as much as possible. During this stage, the defending attorney will use his or her expertise to establish reasons for which the convicted party should not have to serve the maximum sentence. Some defenses the attorney may use are first offense pleas, hardships, ignorance of the law, absence of malicious intention and the like.
The responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney are plentiful and detailed, which is why a prospective client should conduct thorough research to find a firm with the highest level of integrity.
Need help with a case? Please contact John Greene today.
John F. Greene is a Destin, Florida criminal defense attorney with more than three decades of courtroom experience. He provides a full range of legal services to clients in Okaloosa and Walton Counties and throughout Northwest Florida. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact John online or call his office (850) 424-6833 for a legal consultation to take the first step toward a strong legal defense today.