Skilled criminal defense attorneys play an essential role in the American criminal justice system. They stand alone safeguarding the liberty and legal rights of the individual against the government’s unlimited financial resources and manpower.
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every person accused of a crime the right to the assistance of counsel, along with other fundamental requirements of due process of law. An experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer ensures all the accused person’s rights are protected. In the Tampa – St. Petersburg area, Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law, committed their professional lives to protecting clients’ interests in state and federal courts.
Guardians of Criminal Defendants’ Rights
An overwhelming majority of Americans have faith that the criminal justice system in the U.S. is fair. The fact is that our highly admired system of justice stands on three legs: the judge, the prosecution, and the defense. Without each leg performing its assigned duties, the system would collapse.
While popular TV and movies often portray prosecutors and police as heroes, and judges as wise and fair, criminal defense lawyers are often portrayed less favorably. In reality, the defense lawyer is a powerful guardian of liberty, protecting the defendant and the entire justice system from a miscarriage of justice.
Criminal defense lawyers’ important duties include the following, and more:
- Guide clients through police processing when contacted early
- Ensure fair treatment of client at arraignment, reasonable bail, challenging probable cause
- Counsel the individual about their legal rights, criminal procedure, options, and consequences
- Draft and argue motions to discover all prosecution evidence
- Object to the admissibility of evidence obtained by illegal searches and seizures
- Investigate all facts
- Represent the interests of the client in all pretrial proceedings, negotiations, and hearings
- Prepare for trial with comprehensive study and organization designed to challenge the credibility and reliability of witness testimony, and to present defense evidence if appropriate
- To efficiently protect the trial record with all necessary objections, offers of proof, motions for mistrial or dismissal, etc.
- Counsel the defendant extensively about their legal rights to testify or not, to plead nolo or not
- To stand up for and advocate on their client’s behalf at every opportunity
- To thoroughly prepare presentence and sentencing arguments to favor their client
It is the presence and vigilant efforts of the criminal defense attorney that ensures the U.S. justice system works, and it is the criminal defense attorney’s devotion to duty that gives people the comfort of knowing the system is fair. Without an aggressive defense lawyer, anyone could be jailed on the strength of illegal evidence, false testimony, and the decisions made by biased judges and juries.
Why Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Is Crucial
The work of an experienced criminal defense lawyer involves performing many important tasks, often under great pressure. The best criminal defense legal practitioners constantly study the law as it develops in Supreme Court decisions and with changes in the law by legislators. They also select the most effective tactics appropriate for each different case, educate and keep their clients informed, draft and file defense protective motions while also exploring negotiations with the prosecutor, and acquire courtroom skills including a mastery of the rules of evidence and trial procedures. And your lawyer is sworn to keep your private conversations with them confidential unless you authorize them to use or share some part of it with others. All these tasks must be performed simultaneously for numerous clients.
Source of Expertise in All Facets of Criminal Law and Procedure
Most criminal defendants don’t exercise their right to demand to speak with a lawyer before police interrogate them, even after being advised of their right to do so. As a result, criminal defense lawyers are often contacted after the defendant was processed and gave police a statement.
If meeting a client for the first time at their arraignment, criminal defense lawyers find their clients confused and worried. The attorney’s calm confidence and understanding of what will happen next is the client’s first comfort, the first light at the end of the incarceration tunnel.
Immediately upon “entering their appearance” on a client’s behalf (filing a form declaring they represent the defendant), the criminal defense attorney literally speaks for their client, resists any unjustified restrictions on the client’s liberty, and steers the case to the next appropriate stage in the process. Even at this early stage, criminal defense lawyers read the preliminary narrative of the defendant’s alleged crime and use any facts or lack of facts in those documents to gain an advantage for the defendant.
Applying Knowledge of Criminal Law to the Client’s Case
Later, when a criminal defense lawyer and the client engage in a full consultation, the attorney listens to every word, every description of the events leading to the arrest. As they listen, criminal defense lawyers are analyzing the details of the fact pattern to determine what laws and procedures are involved, which defenses would be most effective, what steps they should take to strengthen the client’s position, and how best to weaken the prosecution.
There are no moral judgments of the defendant. There is only the mission to shield their client as completely as the law allows, to eliminate or minimize any negative consequences for the defendant as possible. The lawyer also provides the client with as much information about how the law applies to their case, ensuring the client understands what is necessary to make the important decisions they will face later in the process.
Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Specialist
In contemporary America, medical specialists are often called when a patient is seriously ill. But American lawyers are not permitted to declare a “specialty,” except in rare circumstances when formal certification in a special area is approved by the ABA.
But just as you don’t hire an eye doctor if you suffer a back injury, if you are facing criminal charges it’s unwise to hire a lawyer who spends most of his professional time working in areas other than criminal law. By practicing criminal defense law every day, all day, year after year, a lawyer acquires valuable wisdom, develops effective procedural techniques, builds trusting relationships with prosecutors and judges, and learns how to dominate a criminal courtroom for their client’s benefit.
Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law are certified criminal defense lawyers who spend their entire professional lives practicing criminal defense law. To achieve a high level of proficiency in practicing criminal law, there is no substitute for spending years in courtrooms fighting to protect the interests of criminal defendants. Lawyers who concentrate their legal practice on criminal charges are simply better equipped to deliver the criminal defense services most people charged with a crime need.
Tampa Bay Criminal Defense
We are on your side. Call Tampa Bay’s trusted and experienced criminal defense lawyers at Stechschulte Nell at 813-280-1244 for a case review today.