The United States legal system consists of a complex and extensive set of rules. When a person has been charged with an offense and must appear in court, they need a criminal defense attorney to help them with their case for the best possible outcome. Before hiring an attorney, it would be helpful to know that there are different roles serviced by a defense lawyer and different areas of the law that they handle.
Finding the Right Attorney
Although a defense lawyer can defend most clients, there are some situations where hiring an attorney who specializes in a certain area of the law is best. This is particularly true in areas of law where there are rules and procedures that may differ from other areas of the law, such as dealing with minors or civil matters.
It is important to note that the cost to retain a criminal defense attorney can be expensive. For defendants who cannot afford to hire their own attorney, each state will assign a public defenders to that defendant. Using a public defender is certainly less expensive; however, it is not without risks. More complex cases usually require a skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience in specific areas of the law for the best outcome.
Types of Defense Attorneys
Whether working through a public defender or a personally-retained attorney, it is important to know that there are three main defense lawyer categories:
Civil – A civil case is when a defendant is sued by a person seeking compensation. Injury and accident damage cases are examples of civil lawsuits, as well as some divorce cases and other lawsuits where a person or group of people is attempting to prove fault with another person or group.
Criminal – A criminal case is when a defendant is accused of committing a crime, classified by the legal system as an act against a person or property. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to prove a defendant is innocent of the charges filed against them, negotiate a plea bargain as warranted in exchange for reduced charges and/or sentences, and ensure their client receives a fair trial.
Juvenile – Because of the laws and penalties associated with legal cases involving minors under the age of 18, a criminal defense lawyer experienced in the defense of children between the ages of 10 and 17 is a wise choice. Not only are most minors unable to be tried as adults, they may also not be tried by a jury nor receive certain types of punishment. For this reason, a case involving a juvenile is best defended by a criminal defense attorney experienced with the area of juvenile law.
Retaining an attorney is an important step for anyone who has either been charged with a crime or has been sued. Since not every criminal defense lawyer has the same experience, those in need of an attorney should discuss their situation with an experienced legal firm where each attorney has experience in different areas of defense work!
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520