Criminal lawyers represent clients in state and federal criminal cases and investigations. Many criminal defendants are going through the criminal lawsuit or investigation process for the first time. No matter how many times you’ve been charged with a crime or under investigation by the authorities, you may still have questions.
Defendants frequently ask us about:
- How to pick the finest criminal defence lawyer
- Which criminal defence lawyer to hire
- The charge for representation;
- If a criminal defence lawyer may represent a guilty client;
- Attorney-client privilege and confidentiality; and
- Who have we defended against federal charges?
Please read on to learn more about the varieties of criminal defence attorneys available and which type would be most suited to represent you in your unique criminal matter.
“CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER”
An expert criminal defence lawyer such as a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney is a member of a state bar. A jurisdiction’s “bar” is essentially a licensing body for attorneys. This licence, like other professional licences, allows an attorney to practise law.
Criminal defence lawyers represent defendants in criminal courts.
Most essential, criminal defence attorneys seek to ensure the best possible outcome for their clients
If you know someone is guilty, can you defend them?
Yes, a criminal defense lawyer can still defend a guilty client. So long as they aren’t discriminatory, private attorneys can refuse any case or client.
There are various reasons why a criminal defense lawyer may choose to defend a guilty client. For starters, attorneys are more concerned with what the government can prove their clients did. Their goal is to defend their clients, not to pass moral judgment.
Knowing guilt (or innocence) does not absolve an attorney of their responsibility to represent their client. Even when the government has a strong case against a defendant, good criminal defense attorneys can help. They can negotiate a plea deal or fight to lower felony charges to misdemeanors.
Which information you and your lawyer consider “confidential”
Anything you tell your lawyer is deemed “confidential information.” Your lawyer is almost certainly required to keep any information you share with him or her confidential if you discuss a legal matter or their representation of you as a client.
It is one of the most essential privileges afforded defendants in the United States legal system. It permits defendants to be completely honest with their attorneys, allowing them to give the greatest guidance and legal counsel possible.
An attorney may use or share your sensitive information in certain circumstances, such as:
- to save someone else’s life
- to stop you from doing something;
- or to defend themselves and their colleagues against allegations of wrongdoing.
These extenuating conditions are rare. Attorneys are sworn to preserve your privacy and will do so in most situations.
Are Criminal Defense Attorneys Licensed?
They can, but don’t have to. Anyone licenced to the bar in a certain jurisdiction can practise as a criminal defense lawyer there. A Bar-admitted labor or immigration lawyer can practise criminal defense law without additional training or licensing. All lawyers can practise in any field.
Criminal defense lawyers might be certified in areas like “criminal trial advocacy.” They may seek such certification to demonstrate their expertise in criminal defense law to potential clients.
However, there are many excellent criminal defence attorneys who are not certified. Almost every lawyer has a “specialty,” whether certified or not. It doesn’t matter if an attorney isn’t certified as a white-collar crime specialist like a Fort Worth DWI lawyer.
Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Work?
It depends on the facts of each case, but in general, a criminal defence attorney works hard for every client. They do much more than merely show up in court to debate with the prosecution and present a case to the judge or jury in basic instances.
To begin, a criminal defence attorney will meet with you to discuss your case. They’ll tell you what the repercussions will be and how they can help. If you hire them, they’ll start working on your case right away. Here are a few examples:
- choosing trial witnesses
- meeting with the judge or the prosecution
- assembling evidence, conducting legal research on similar situations, and
- requesting that the matter be dismissed. Your lawyer has done a lot for you even before the matter goes to trial.
For those ready to plead guilty, your lawyer will work to offer you the best possible plea deal. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will help pick the jury and then defend you vigorously throughout the trial. Criminal defence lawyers do all possible to help their clients.
Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Make Money?
The honest answer is: it depends. In 2018, the median compensation for all US lawyers was $120,910, but many criminal defence attorneys make far more or less.
Attorneys are generally pictured as rich individuals with lavish mansions and sports automobiles. They exist, but so do the lower-middle-class people who live in sensible apartments and drive second hand cars. In actuality, there is no predetermined fee for criminal defence attorneys. Their pay is determined by:
- firm size
- firm seniority
- salary, commission
How Much Is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?
Again, it varies. A private criminal defence attorney does not have a defined fee. Some lawyers charge $1,000, while others charge $20,000 (or more). The variances in costs stem from two factors: each attorney and each case.
An experienced, highly trained attorney will cost you far more than a newbie with little or no expertise. That doesn’t mean there aren’t great attorneys with fair fees. Just remember that an attorney’s experience, seniority, reputation, and skill will influence their fees. The details of your case will also influence the cost of your defence. As in:
If you are charged with a minor misdemeanour, your attorney may charge you a flat fee of $1,000.
If you are accused with multiple serious offences that will take months to prosecute, your hourly rate could reach $200,000 or more. The easiest method to find out how much your case will cost is to speak with a criminal defence lawyer.
Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you’re asking this, you should first ask yourself:
- What if you go to prison?
- Does it matter if you serve seven years or one?
- Is it important if you struggle to find work for the rest of your life?
- Does it matter if you miss family birthdays, graduations, and other key events?
Those questions may sound dramatic, but criminal charges are not to be taken lightly.
You might lose hundreds of dollars if you hire the wrong mechanic. You might lose hundreds of dollars if you hire the wrong personal trainer. If you pick the wrong lawyer, money will be the least of your worries.
Convictions can wreck your life. Choosing a criminal defence attorney is one of the most essential decisions you’ll ever make, so don’t ignore it.