Criminal Defense

Public Defender vs. Private Lawyer

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

There is no real difference in the legal qualifications and aptitude between a public defender and a private lawyer generally speaking. Both had gone to law school and are licensed to practice in their state as attorneys. In fact, public defenders probably have more extensive experience in criminal defense than most lawyers because they handle a lot more cases. However, it is precisely because a public defender is given a heavy case load that a defendant may not be properly represented in their case, and why a private lawyer that can pick and choose their cases is the better option.

Private lawyers can specialize

The best criminal defense lawyers are those that do not necessarily have an extensive practice, but those that focus on specific types of cases. As pointed out on the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, lawyers with expertise in handling particular crimes are peculiarly suited to protecting the rights and interests of the defendant to the full extent of the law. Public defenders are obliged to handle the cases that are handed to them, and this can turn them into a Jack of all trades but master of none.

Private lawyers can concentrate on their cases

A public defender could be juggling more than 20 cases at any one time. Because their case loads are typically not as heavy, private lawyers have more time to prepare for each case and focus on the finer points of the cases they handle that could spell the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

Private lawyers have more resources

Public defenders use state resources to prepare their cases, and in most cases they have to make do with what the budget will allow them. Private lawyers have access to investigative, documentation, and expert services that can help them build a more thorough defense than a public defender can hope to with their limited resources.

Public defenders serve an important purpose; to represent defendants that do not have the financial means to retain a private lawyer. However, if you are charged with a crime and you have the means to pay for your defense, you will find that the results will be worth the expense of retaining the best possible criminal defense lawyer in your area that you can afford.

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Common Defense for Theft

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Theft is primarily defined as the illegal appropriation of property. According to the website of criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis, the penalties for a theft conviction can be quite serious under the Texas Penal Code. When charged with theft and the property had actually been taken by the defendant, there are a few defense that a defense lawyer may apply depending on the circumstances.

Intoxication

One of the requirements for a charge of theft to stick is that there an intent to steal. If the defendant can prove that at the time of the incident he or she was under the influence of an intoxicating substance (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and had no mental capacity to form intent, it may succeed in having the charges dismissed or reduced.

Right of Ownership

If the property is the defendant’s obviously a charge of theft will not stick. However, there are circumstances when the defendant did take someone else’s property in the belief that he or she had right of ownership. The defendant took someone else’s luggage from an airport carousel, for example, believing that it was his or hers to take because it was similar or even identical to their property. The defendant has to prove that it was an “honest mistake” such as by producing their luggage and demonstrating that it does indeed look similar enough to have been switched.

Entrapment

This is a rather complicated defense for theft because the defendant has to prove that the property owner had induced the defendant to take the property in order to substantiate a charge of theft. A shrewd defense lawyer will have to show that the plaintiff had lured the defendant to commit the crime for whatever reason.

Return of Property

In most cases, returning the property cannot be used as a defense against a theft charge unless the defendant can prove that there was intent to return the property when it was taken. The defendant can claim that the property had merely been “borrowed.”

If you are facing a charge of theft, it is important that you understand your rights and protections under the law. Engage the services of a reputable defense lawyer in your area to help you avoid a conviction.

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The Roles Criminal Defense Lawyers Play

Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

The criminal defense lawyer is more than an officer of the court and a necessary personality in a trial. There are many roles that a criminal defense lawyer plays way before the courtroom drama commences. In fact, many cases don’t actually get to that point at all, and in general, that’s how defense lawyers prefer it.

Confidant

A defendant can tell his or her lawyer everything without fear of it being used against him or her. This is the main purpose of the attorney-client privilege. In fact, if the lawyer breaks confidentiality, it can be grounds for the lawyer’s license to be suspended or revoked, and the leaked information still cannot be used against the defendant because it is “tainted” except in some circumstances. A criminal defense lawyer is still required to build the best possible defense for the client even if he or she knows the client is guilty of the crime, although they are barred from lying to the court.

Adviser

The lawyer is also there to provide the client various scenarios that may pan out for a particular case, the client’s legal options, and to advise the client about the best course to take from a legal standpoint. In most cases, the defendant is clueless about the law, and the lawyer is there to elucidate matters.

Advocate

The criminal defense lawyer is there to defend the client, if only to introduce reasonable doubt in the case presented by the prosecutor. The burden of proof is on the prosecution; the defense can introduce reasonable doubt by challenging any statement that is damaging to the client, and to present an alternate theory of the case to that presented by the prosecution.

Negotiator

When it is apparent that the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming, the lawyer can take on the role of negotiator during a plea bargain. Prosecutors generally prefer to settle the matter out of court because it saves on trial costs, but the defendant must bring something to the table to justify a more favorable deal. A good Dallas criminal defense lawyer will know how and what to offer to minimize the severity of the punishment of the client and to indicate to the defendant when a deal is as good as it is going to get.

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