People who need a criminal defense attorney should ensure that they’re working with someone who’s familiar with the specific type of charge they’re facing. They should expect that their attorney will do what’s in their best interests. This doesn’t necessarily mean working toward a not guilty finding. In some cases, the defense strategy may center around trying to reduce the penalties that you’ll have to face.
A defense attorney has obligations to every client
When you hire a defense attorney, you must ensure that you understand what they can do for you. Discussing your case and the specific circumstances of it may help you to garner a realistic understanding of what’s possible.
The attorney shouldn’t make promises about the outcome of your case because they can’t tell what a jury will determine. The only time that they should offer you a specific outcome is if they’ve worked out a plea deal with the prosecutor. It’s also their obligation to make sure that you know about any offer from the prosecution and what the consequences may be for both acceptance and refusal.
You should expect that the attorney has an understanding of how the applicable court works. Municipal courts are much different than state courts. And, federal courts are also different. An attorney who is familiar with the court system in which you’re facing charges can usually represent you better than one who hasn’t ever tried a case in that court system.
You can also expect your attorney to aggressively defend your interests, no matter what charges are piled against you. Your defender cannot allow their personal feelings to color their actions.
What can you do if you believe your defense attorney didn’t do their job properly?
Anyone who thinks that their attorney didn’t handle their case in an ethical manner may explore the possibility of legal malpractice. It’s important to remember that simply losing a case isn’t a reason to try to file a legal malpractice claim. These claims are reserved for situations in which the attorney didn’t do their duties that they should have.