A lawyer having studied and specialized in criminal law is known as a criminal law lawyer. Such a lawyer is qualified for defending someone who is alleged to have committed a crime, as also the government for prosecuting the alleged accused. A criminal case would generally involve a defense lawyer that defends the defendant, meaning the alleged criminal, and another lawyer that represents the government, known as a prosecutor. Defense lawyers practicing criminal law are capable of defending their client against a variety of cases, varying from a ticket-less travel to an allegation of crime like murder, whereas prosecutors work for the government for getting the alleged criminal prosecuted.
A lawyer specializing in criminal law may be employed by the government or by a law firm, as well as practice independently. At times, the government hires such attorneys for representing the defendants. These are known as public defenders. In certain countries, the government provides the services of a public defender for alleged criminals who are unable to hire a defendant on their own.
The main task of lawyers in such cases it to provide legal support to their clients. For carrying their job effectively, it is imperative for the lawyers to overlook their personal view about the case they are defending. For instance, a defense lawyer needs to defend his client of the charges framed, irrespective of his personal belief if the client is innocent or guilty.
Lawyers practicing criminal law are required to appear in court quite often. Apart from the time they need to spend during the trial, they also appear in court to represent their client on different occasions, like bail hearings.
Before appearing in court, a criminal lawyer has to perform quite a few jobs. They need to spend a considerable amount of time in gathering all the relevant information from their clients before the court proceedings are started. When the prosecutors give a plea bargain to the defendant, it is the responsibility of the defense lawyer to discus the subject with the defendants. The defense lawyer would educate the defendant on the legal implications or consequences of accepting a plea bargain.
A lawyer practicing the criminal law is often required to carry legal research to find out case laws or legal interpretation which could strengthen the case of the client he is defending. Another significant job of such a lawyer is to record the statements of various witnesses associated with the case. Moreover, at times, they may hire the services of professional investigators to investigate certain parts of the case, and present the results of such investigations to the court for the benefit of their clients. They could also hire proficient witnesses to help the case of the defendants.