Defense lawyer plays a fundamental role in the justice system. What is his goal? To have his client acquitted by all legal means.
You are arrested for committing a criminal offense. What to do? Your first reflex should be to ask to speak to a lawyer during your arrest. This recourse is part of your rights throughout the criminal proceedings that will follow.
The Role of Defense counsel
Defense counsel is opposed to Crown counsel. His role is to obtain the acquittal of his client using all legal means. To do this, he must find the flaws in the evidence provided by the opposing party. He may also cross-examine witnesses of the other party to question their credibility. In this case, and if doubt arises, what is called reasonable doubt, the accused will be found not guilty.
Who pays the fees?
In most cases, it is the accused who must pay the fees for the services of a defense lawyer. If the accused has a low income, he or she may be eligible for government legal aid. In addition, some lawyers devote a certain portion of their time free of charge and voluntarily. This is called pro bono services, an expression of Latin origin meaning “for the public good”.
What are the rights of the accused?
Under the Rights and Freedoms, the accused right to a defense is self-evident. The Supreme Court also stated that “the right to make full answer and defense is one of the pillars of criminal justice, and we rely heavily on ensuring that innocent people are not found guilty”.
The accused has the right to be present at his trial and to have an interpreter. He cannot be required to testify. Because it is based on several factors (credibility, witness reliability, duty to admit criminal record, etc.), this decision is usually taken in conjunction with the lawyer. Again, the interest of his client is the primary concern of the defense lawyer.
What is the presumption of innocence?
The presumption of innocence is also one of the main rights of every individual. The defense lawyer must ensure that these fundamental rights are respected for his client.
Can the defense lawyer have doubts about the innocence of his client?
If the accused does not admit his guilt in the preliminary interviews in his lawyer’s office, but the accused has reservations about his innocence, the defense lawyer can still accept the mission entrusted to him. Indeed, it is not for him to judge the cause. In this case, it is said that the lawyer should simply limit himself to notifying his client of his chances of success.
According to DUI Scottsdale AZ, the qualities of a good defense attorney:
- Excellent knowledge of the law, rights and regulations in force;
- Ability to express himself in public (acute sense of communication);
- A sense of developed listening;
- Good judgment and a spirit of analysis and synthesis;
- A sense of organization (time, files, documents);
- A certain sense of creativity.