Adam M Smith on Whether it Pays to Be a Criminal Defense Attorney
The law profession is one of the oldest in the world and also one of the most respected, alongside education and medicine. Men and women alike want to be lawyers and, every June, thousands try to pass the Bar exam. For most, this desire is about a genuine commitment to serving justice. But others believe the job is incredibly lucrative and that is motivation enough. According to Adam M Smith, those who want to be lawyers for the money would do well to understand the difference branches of law practice and how these influence pay. Criminal defense can arguably be the best paid branch of law, but also the most morally, psychologically, ethically, and emotionally draining. This is why nobody should go into law for the money alone.
Adam M Smith on Criminal Defense
The field of criminal defense is that which handles crimes. The attorney represents those who have been accused of being criminals, helping them to avoid a conviction and the associated punishments. By and large, their role is to handle highly sensitive matters in a way that convinces people on both the Grand Jury, if it exists in the state on which someone practices, and the regular trial jury, that someone is innocent. The problem with crimes is that the act that someone has commited are wrong. Yet, they are still entitled to a good defense. This means that a criminal attorney has to face victims and communities as a whole, and argue for the innocence or clemency of someone they may know is guilty. The simple fact that this comes with an interesting salay is not enough to make it a suitable career. Instead, it takes tremendous determination, guts, and a genuine belief that someone is innocent until proven guilty.
How Criminal Defense Works
The different states and counties in this country have different procedures for handling a criminal case. However, a criminal defense lawyer will have responsibility at each of the stages of these cases, and they tend to follow a similar pattern:
- Someone is arrested following an investigation or random police stop.
- If the case is serious enough, it will be brought in front of a grand jury, where a decision will be made in terms of whether or not a trial has to take place. The role of the criminal attorney here is very important as they have a first chance here to stop the defendant from facing charges at all. It is very rare that they will succeed here, since the burden of proof is not about reasonable doubt, but it is possible. Additionally, it is here that the attorney can try to secure bail for the individual, so that they can be released.
- If the grand jury decides to go to trial, the defense attorney will have to prepare their case, which is a lot of hard work. Exactly how the trial will progress will also depend on whether or not it is a trial by jury.
During a trial, the defendant will be accused by the government, who is represented by the district attorney or public prosecutor. They are the ones who have the burden of proof of demonstrating whether or not someone is guilty. The defense attorney, meanwhile, has to try to disprove whatever the public prosecution is saying.