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Posted on November 28, 2023 in Criminal Defense

What Are the Responsibilities of a Criminal Lawyer in Arizona?

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of Arizona criminal lawyers is important, given their essential function within our justice system. They’re responsible for ensuring justice and due process while representing defendants facing criminal charges. 

Here’s what they’re responsible for and what steps they’ll take to help you:

Client Consultation

One of the first duties of a criminal lawyer is to meet with potential clients. During this initial consultation, they evaluate your situation and explain how they can help. This meeting helps in determining if you are comfortable with them representing you.

The attorney wants to understand all aspects related to your case – allegations against you, evidence available, statements from witnesses, law enforcement’s involvement, etc. Based on these details, they can provide early insight into potential defenses and strategy.

If both parties agree that it’s a good match after the consultation, the attorney will officially take on representation responsibilities for your case. 

Protect Client Rights

It’s an essential responsibility of your lawyer to ensure that you’re fully aware of all your rights. 

Right to Remain Silent

One key right includes the right to remain silent. This is also referred to as pleading the Fifth, and it essentially means that you are allowed, by law, not to say anything that may cause you to incriminate yourself in any way. Any time you are questioned by law enforcement, you also have the right to speak with your attorney first.

Constitutional Rights – Free From Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Effective legal representation includes being able to challenge evidence that may have been obtained illegally or against your rights. This can include instances when law enforcement officers gather evidence without a necessary search warrant or if they interrogated you but failed to read you your Miranda warnings.

Such violations could give rise to an effective motion to suppress, invalidating the admissibility of this evidence during trial proceedings.

Case Preparation

Case preparation is a vital part of a criminal lawyer’s role, as it builds the foundation for your defense strategy. It encompasses several essential activities:

Gathering Evidence

A lawyer is responsible for gathering, reviewing, and analyzing all evidence that could be used in your favor or against you. In most cases, this involves working with investigators and expert witnesses.

Interviewing Witnesses

Your lawyer will identify potential witnesses and conduct interviews to get their testimony. This process can help corroborate your account of events or challenge the prosecution’s version of what led you to be arrested.

Preparing Defense Strategies

Based on their research and gathered evidence, a competent criminal defense lawyer will strategize how best to defend you by pointing out weaknesses in the district attorney’s arguments. Attorneys may also present alibi evidence proving you were somewhere else when the crime happened and, therefore, could not possibly have committed it. 

Additionally, a lawyer may raise affirmative defenses, like self-defense.

Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining is an essential aspect of a criminal defense attorney’s responsibilities. There may be situations where it is in your best interest to negotiate a guilty plea with the prosecution instead of proceeding to trial. For example, this could mean having felony charges reduced to misdemeanors.

Your attorney must explain the benefits and risks associated with accepting this deal, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Trial Representation

Representing clients at trial is one of the most crucial responsibilities a criminal lawyer undertakes. Part of this process involves engaging with witnesses through cross-examination, which aims to challenge the prosecution’s evidence by highlighting inconsistencies or uncertainties that may exist within their testimonies. 

Contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney For Help With Your Legal Matter

It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list; the scope of an attorney’s dutfies varies significantly depending on individual cases and legal contexts.

If you’re facing charges, it’s always a good idea to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. For help,  Contact our law firm Orent Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation at (480) 656-7301

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