The two types of criminal lawyers are criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors. It is a criminal defense lawyer’s job to do everything possible to protect their client’s rights and interests. It is the prosecutor’s job to present the case against the defendant and prove beyond a reasonable doubt they should be convicted and punished for the alleged crime.
What do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?
The criminal defense lawyer’s goal is to find enough weaknesses in the prosecution’s presentation that a judge or jury cannot definitively find that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If a defense lawyer can introduce even a small amount of doubt, it is the legal system’s duty to let you go free.
A criminal defense attorney can work to free you in many ways:
- Collecting evidence: They can conduct an independent investigation into the alleged crime. A defense lawyer can also engage in discovery with the prosecution, meaning both sides exchange evidence so that each knows what the other side does.
- Examining the evidence: Their legal team can analyze the evidence in your case for weak spots. For example, perhaps there was police misconduct, or the prosecution overlooked critical eyewitness testimony. A defense attorney can use any gap in their case to their advantage.
- Negotiating a plea: In some cases, a defense lawyer can persuade the prosecutor and judge to let you plead guilty to a less serious crime. This way, it will cost you less time and money to serve your sentence, and you can get back to your regular life faster.
- Dropping charges: If your case is particularly strong, we can convince the prosecutor that their case will not stand up in court. They may then be willing to drop the charges against you.
- Presenting your case in court: A defense attorney will not be afraid to go head-to-head with the prosecutor in the courtroom. In addition to presenting your case to the judge and jury, they can make sure that the prosecutor follows all legal rules and raise objections if they do not do so.
- Handling an appeal: If a judge or jury finds you guilty, a defense lawyer could file an appeal if they have grounds for doing so. Examples include having inadmissible evidence presented to the jury or the judge giving improper jury instructions.
- Expunging your record: Per Pennsylvania General Assembly Title 18, it is possible to wipe your criminal record clear and start over with a “clean slate” in some cases. A defense attorney can help you determine if this applies to your situation.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
What do Prosecutors Do?
The prosecutor is the attorney who will represent the state of Pennsylvania, making the case that you should be convicted of the crimes with which you’ve been charged. They may do this by:
- Collecting evidence: Like a criminal defense lawyer, the prosecutor will try to build a compelling case. However, their goal is to find and highlight evidence that incriminates you.
- Finding witnesses to testify against you: They will interview people who witnessed the alleged offense or who do not think highly of you and are willing to speak to your supposed lack of character in court.
- Representing the state in court: If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor and their team will oversee presenting the case against you. They may even question you on the stand if you do so in your defense.
The prosecutor does not have anything against you personally. However, it is their job to fully prosecute accused criminals of the law to the best of their ability. They will do their utmost to see that you are convicted, so it is a good idea to get a criminal defense lawyer on your side. They will fight just as hard to secure your freedom.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
No matter what type of crime the state accuses you of committing, being arrested, booked, and charged is a traumatic experience. Furthermore, the legal process is often complicated for laypeople to navigate alone – even a single, innocent mistake could derail your defense and weaken your case.
Instead of taking on the risk and the challenge of defending yourself, our law office can do all the hard work for you. Then, you would not have to do anything except focus on yourself and your loved ones. In the meantime, we would:
- Update you frequently: Tamujin Eberhardt, one of our satisfied former clients, wrote that our “professional and helpful” attorney “kept us informed at all times.” You do not have to worry if something is happening without your knowledge.
- Answer all your questions: Clients are welcome to call at any time, day or night. Our team will respond to your queries with helpful information as quickly as possible.
- Defend you against stiff penalties: If convicted, you might face fines, court fees, jail time, and other penalties that could upend your life. You may feel better knowing that our team’s experience and determination stand between you and a conviction.
- Advise you: Hiring a defense attorney from our firm means always having someone to discuss your legal options with. If you are ever unsure of what something means or what to do next, we are here to help.
How do I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Anyone who considers hiring a defense lawyer can begin by speaking with a member of our team. We can explain your options at no cost and obligation to you. Then, if you decide to retain our services, we could draw up a contract and discuss it with you before you sign.
It is often better to hire a lawyer sooner rather than later. Some cases can be extremely complicated, and you might benefit from giving us more time to build your defense.
We Provide Criminal Defense Services
Of the two types of criminal lawyers, the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. provides criminal defense services to those in and around Philadelphia. To discover more about what we can do for you, call us at (215) 515-3360. All callers receive a free consultation with a member of our team.