The United States justice system establishes a fundamental role for defense attorneys in criminal cases. Defense attorneys must maintain high skill levels in a wide variety of matters in order to do their part in maintaining a fair and efficient justice system. In this article, defense attorney Rahul Balaram discusses the essential functions and responsibilities of attorneys in protecting the fundamental rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and state and federal law.
Defense Attorneys Must Maintain Technical Expertise in the Law
Effective attorneys remain academic students throughout their careers. Education in the law does not end in law school and the bar exam — that is where the education begins. Although the U.S. Constitution is over 225 years old, the law regarding interpretations of the Constitution and the laws and rules enacted by states and the U.S. Congress changes daily and requires careful attention and study.
Defense Attorneys Assess Cases and Gather Information
Before any case is heard in a courtroom, a defense attorney makes a thorough assessment of the entire case. Through the research of every relevant detail and independent investigation, defense attorneys determine likely outcomes and effective strategies for every case. Defenses are evaluated, and the roadmap for tactical decisions are laid out during the assessment phase.
Defense Attorneys Maintain Punctual and Complete Communication with Clients, Prosecutors, and the Court
Defense attorneys are often responsible for multiple court appearances before trial. There are also many types of motions and other papers that must be filed with the court in advance of trial to represent their clients effectively. A crucial part of a defense attorney’s job is to keep clients up to date promptly as to all scheduling matters and court proceedings. The defense attorney must also communicate according to law with the prosecutor and the court on all relevant matters before trial.
Defense Attorneys are Skilled Trial Practitioners
Effective advocacy at criminal trials requires experience, expertise, and proper demeanor and character to achieve the best results for clients. Trial skills include knowing the right approach and tactics to use with judges, jurors, and witnesses. Conducting a trial is an art and requires talent, patience, and thoughtfulness.
Defense Attorneys Negotiate Settlements Favorable to Their Clients
Most criminal cases never go to trial. Some cases are dismissed entirely before trial. The majority of cases are resolved through plea negotiations. The prosecutor typically initiates a discussion with a defense attorney about finding acceptable settlement solutions to resolve cases. Effective defense attorneys negotiate vigorously to obtain the best possible resolution for their clients in every case.
Defense Attorneys Manage Stress for Clients and Themselves
Criminal cases are typically stressful events. Clients rely on a defense attorney’s expertise, confidence, and communication to help handle the stress of the entire process. Defense attorneys handle hectic schedules that can change at the last minute and under adverse conditions. To be effective in helping clients, defense attorneys must master stress management skills.
About Rahul Balaram
Rahul Balaram is an experienced and dedicated attorney who has successfully represented hundreds of clients in a wide variety of criminal cases. He is the founder of the Balaram Law Office in Santa Rosa.