The Role of a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Australia
Criminal defence lawyers are a vital part of the legal system in Australia. They represent people who have been charged with crimes and help them to understand their rights and options when it comes to defending themselves against allegations. Criminal defence lawyers can also be employed by organisations, such as the state or federal government, to provide advice on how best to defend cases that may arise from alleged misconduct.
They can also be employed by large companies to defend them from claims brought against them for wrong-doing. Some criminal defence lawyers may work on a pro bono basis, representing clients who are unable to afford their services. The role of criminal defence lawyer in Australia can take many forms depending on the circumstances.
In all instances however, criminal defence lawyers provide legal representation so defendants can present arguments in court about why they should not be found guilty of a crime related allegation made against them. In Australia, you must be admitted to practise as a lawyer before you can act as a criminal defence lawyer. Criminal defence lawyers may be self-employed, employed in private practice, employed in a government organisation or work at a community legal centre.
Criminal Defence Lawyers defend those accused of crimes so that they are not found guilty of an alleged crime made against them. They provide legal representation to argue why their client should not be convicted of these charges.
What exactly does a Criminal Defence Lawyer do?
It’s important to know what role a defence lawyer plays when defending someone charged with allegedly breaking the law. The role of a lawyer involves work both inside and outside of the courtroom. They will take part in negotiations with the prosecution including the preparation of submissions to see if the matter can be resolved without the need for a trial. For more serious matters, more than one type of lawyer may be required.
A defence lawyer is there to plead down or defend against charges made by law enforcement that are being accused of committing a crime – even if they’re innocent. Criminal defence lawyers make sure people get fair trials so justice prevails. They do this by:
- Testing the police’s evidence, to assist the court in determining its reliability in ultimately determining whether the evidence establishes the allegations beyond reasonable doubt.
- Locating incriminating evidence, or evidence to the contrary, such as an alibi or proving someone else committed the offence.
- Compiling reports and other evidence to prepare their defence.
- Preventing any unreliable police evidence from being used against their client,
- Negotiating with the prosecution to see if the matters may be resolved in some alternative basis to prosecution in court.
The lawyer also ensures that the rights of defendants are not violated during any stage of the proceedings, from arrest up until sentencing and beyond – they will ensure people get a fair trial no matter what crime they may have been accused of committing. They can be instrumental in building an effective defence strategy by interpreting laws on which crimes were committed or how prosecutors should proceed with charges; advising clients about possible punishments for different offenses (which vary depending upon the jurisdiction), general defences available at these trials, disposition options for cases; interviewing witnesses and investigators before court hearings/trial dates, etc., so they know what happened when it goes to court.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer over Self Representation
You have the right to defend yourself at trial.
But, anyone who has been charged with a crime is entitled to be defended by a lawyer – and they are not guaranteed any rights or special treatment if they choose self-representation in court.
The advantages of hiring a criminal defence lawyer include:
- being able to speak up for you in court
- representing your interests when negotiating with the prosecution
- knowing what evidence will help you win your case and which pieces may hurt it (due diligence) so that no stone goes unturned before going into battle
- ensuring their client understands all aspects of the law as well as possible defences available at that time, including potential punishments or alternatives such as community service hours instead of jail sentences/fines, etc..
- informing the client of their options in the event they are found guilty, including sentencing, mandatory minimum sentences, probation/parole, and appeals
- protecting your interests before, during, and after trial
It is important to hire a criminal defence lawyer who will best represent you for your specific case because there are variations in law from state-to-state. Laws in Queensland are not exactly the same as in New South Wales or any other state, so it’s important to hire someone who has good knowledge of local laws. If you require a criminal defence lawyer, contact our team at Bouchier Khan Lawyers for advice.