The Duties of Defense Lawyers
A defense attorney is on the side of the defendant, serving as an advocate and adviser. Under the Constitution, a defendant has the right to legal counsel, even if the individual does not have the means to afford it. This is due to the premise that all are considered as innocent until proven otherwise and as such, the defense counsel is present to assure that the proper procedures, as well as the maxim of proof of need, is achieved with the presented evidence.
The primary responsibility of the defense lawyer is to represent the defendant through the presentation of oral arguments in court as well as the drafting of legal documentation for the side of the defense. Furthermore, the defense lawyer needs to advocate the innocence of the client, regardless of the public opinion and perception of the accused.
In order to achieve this responsibility, the defense lawyer must be able to present the client’s version of the case before the court and the jury. The theory of the case must either be supportive of the plea of innocence or put reasonable doubt in the presented case of the prosecution, putting the accused in the best light possible. This is done through the drafting of legal documents and even media discussions in order to establish the information of the client through the development of a relationship between client and accused.
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In order to achieve this, the lawyer, even during the law school years, must have a deep understanding of the criminal codes and rules of procedure as preparation for the eventual practice of litigation. Once the law student passes the bar, the attorney must conduct themselves professionally and be in good standing with the Bar Association to be able to practice law.
One of the misconceptions about defense lawyers is that they are forced to perform their legal duties. The performance of their duties as defense lawyers must be conducted regardless of their belief in the guilt or innocence of their client. Criminal law is considered as one of the most demanding and time-consuming specializations, making litigation only open for the proud and capable few.
The defense lawyer is beholden to provide their client with a vigorous and unyielding dedication. This starts from the careful investigation of all the charges brought to court and not all the evidence presented must be taken at face value. The approach must be to explore every ethical means of defending the client’s cause, even if the same requires the subpoenaing experts or other witnesses or even question the basis of the accusations or the procedures done.