A criminal defense attorney may be working for himself or herself (self-employed), for a law firm, government agencies, or other organizations such as nonprofit organizations. Criminal defense attorneys will develop a clear defense strategy that will challenge the strength, validity and sufficiency of prosecution evidence in favor of the client, sometimes an alibi.
If that does not work, he or she may resort to other types of defense in an effect to secure a “not guilty” verdict for his or her client through coercion or duress, a situation forcing the client to commit a crime. Other defense strategies include self-defense, forcing the client to act to defend him/herself; statute of limitations, where the time required for the prosecution to bring charges against the defendant has already expired, and consent, arguing that the victim consented to the defendant’s actions. The insanity defense is another rarely used criminal defense strategy. It is where the defendant accepts committing the alleged crime, but unaware of their wrongdoing. It is infrequently used and rarely successful. Below are types of criminal lawyers.
Some jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia offer to pay private lawyers in order to represent indigent defendants of a crime. Any government would have a panel of private criminal justice attorneys receiving hourly compensation for their services and time. Usually, using a panel of criminal justice attorneys will often be as a supplement to the public defender service, and not a replacement. The District of Columbia, for instance, has both panel attorneys and a sturdy public defender service.
It is the government’s responsibility to prosecute any persons accused of committing a crime. In most jurisdictions, the local district attorneys’ office often handles this process. The local district attorney normally has some assistant district attorneys who he or she can use their service when necessary. These officials responsibility is prosecuting crimes in both state and local courts across the US.
The public defender service varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Commonly, the state or local country where the prosecution takes place is responsible for employing the attorneys, who receive salary, and have very large caseloads on their plate. Alternatively, the federal government institutes a public defender service for defendants facing federal crimes but cannot afford their own attorney.
Criminal defendants who are able to afford legal services often hire lawyers in private practice. Small, medium or large law firms often employ attorney to focus on criminal justice and criminal defense of their clients. Hiring a private attorney is an expensive process, most of which the average citizen cannot afford. Therefore, is it mostly defendants convicted of white-collar crime who can afford to hire their own counsel.
United States Attorneys
In the United States, the chief law enforcement official known as Attorney General, is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. There are US attorneys for each of the US federal districts, with each US Attorney having a staff of assistant attorneys responsible for prosecuting crimes brought before the US federal district courts.
Legal Aid Societies
Many not-for-profit organizations are there to representation to indigent defendants. For instance, the New York Legal Aid Society, which is the largest public defender services provider in New York County, offers its services to such defendants.