What to Look For When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are forced to face a grim legal consequence which may involve jail term, probation or fines, you can't afford to go about handling your legal condition without the services of a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer. You need to get the services of a lawyer who has the knowledge, experience and the reputation to handle your case with the prosecutors, judges and courts.

As soon as a person is released from jail on signature and cash bond, he must immediately prepare for his defense. The best way to prepare for the case is for the person to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you avail for the services of one the better for your chances at successful defense. In cases where you are still under investigation or if you have not been charged, you should immediately seek a legal counsel as it is your basic right.

There are essential guidelines that you should follow when searching for your defense lawyer.

1. Perform an online search for a qualified Cincinnati criminal defense attorney who is practicing in the location where you are facing criminal charges. Narrow your search by focusing those legal practitioners specializing in criminal cases.

2. Pick out the top three or four law firms for your choice of criminal defense lawyer. Screen the lawyer's credentials and track record. Verify his court experience in the court case that you are facing.

3. Visit the websites of the large and most renowned criminal defense associations and check the criminal defense lawyer's name. You should limit the search for your attorney to those who are affiliated of highly regarded lawyer's associations.

4. Check on the veracity of the claimed area of expertise of the criminal defense lawyer. You can also check the State journal site and local TV stations.

5. Lastly, visit or call the law firm to verify if they provide free initial consultation so that you can explore the possibilities for their firm representing you in your court case.

You should also consider the following when selecting your Cincinnati criminal defense attorney.

1. Check for published books, articles and treatises that were written by the lawyer. This is a strong evidence of the competence of your legal counsel.

2. Verify the number of outright acquittals won by the lawyer. This is a good proof not only on the expertise of the lawyer but also on the degree of preparation and overall court demeanor your lawyer.

3. Check on how your lawyer is regarded by his peers and his position in lawyer's associations.

4. If there is a referral for the lawyer from state bars, then you are assured of the competence and integrity of your criminal defense lawyer. You can check the website of the state bar to get the background information of your lawyer.

5. Check the feedback of legal experts and criminal law commentators. Watch local TV and radio shows that feature forums on criminal law. Citing and invitation of lawyer in these forums indicate his being highly regarded in the field of criminal law.

Lawyers Experienced in Dealing With Cases Involving Criminal Laws

Most of the cases involving crimes are closed without a solution. This is because a reliable proof cannot be produced against culprits in this regard. However, Sydney lawyers are way ahead of their counterparts in winning such cases. They have all the information that is required to prove that a person is the actual culprit. Approaching them is possible in an easy manner when one contacts a legal firm. These firms organize counseling sessions for the people who are in need of their services. People who fail to comply by the legal standards can be prosecuted on grounds of not abiding by the law.

The exhibits should be provided before the court of law so that the crime committed by a criminal can be proved. In order to provide solid proof, a lot of expertise should be displayed by the Sydney lawyers. In fact, most of them contain such a skill. Several cases in the past have been resolved without much ado because of the skills of lawyers in Sydney. Even after possessing all the qualities that are needed to win a case, they do not charge exorbitant fees unlike other legal firms. Having enough convincing skills is their forte.

It involves a lot of pressure when one is dealing with a criminal case. For example, some antisocial elements will come up with threatening calls and warnings that they might take up life. Dealing with all issues, Sydney lawyers have come up with flying colors in defending a case successfully. A thorough knowledge about criminal laws is what that is required in the initial phase. Negotiations will never work as it is the matter of a person's life. People believe that justice will be done to them when they approach any of the lawyers in Sydney as they have a proven past in dealing with such cases.

Whenever solid evidence has been produced against criminals, the chances of them escaping are narrowed. Sydney lawyers collect all such evidences and do proper homework before getting involved in the case. Professional attitude works to a maximum extent. Lawyers do understand the problems of those who get implicated illegally in such cases. Hence, it requires certain knowledge about psychology in order to assess the mentality of suspects. Evidences gathered at the scene of offence are crucial in determining the innocence of the accused. The advantage of hiring a lawyer of caliber will be proven only after a case has been won.

Before approaching a lawyer, one needs to have a basic understanding that what are the aspects that are covered by criminal laws. There might be some exceptions too. All these details can be obtained from an experienced lawyer belonging to an established legal firm. Such firms collect nominal fees from the needy and provide valuable legal services in Sydney. Checking through the criminal records will save a lot of time and help in the speedy trials of a case. However, most of the legal firms have access to the sources of criminals' profiles that will be handy in handling a case.

Criminal Defense Attorney - Importance Of Criminal Defense Lawyer Or Attorney

Normally, people want to avoid and wind up any criminal charges as soon as possible - and a criminal defense attorney is the best person to resort to for this purpose. Most of the people find the legal process difficult to grasp and proceeding with legal actions seems like an impossible task. Here is where the criminal attorneys come in.

It becomes their responsibility to explain the legal procedures and effects of every legal action that is to be taken along with fighting for their clients. These attorneys are the best means of strengthening oneself to proceed through legal action. A defense attorney also serves as criminal trial legal representative as they take care of how the trial procedures should be conducted. So, in which situations would you need to hire a defense attorney?

Functions Of A Criminal Defense Attorney

The main responsibility of a defense attorney involves representing his/her client who is alleged with committing any sort of crime. The primary job is questioning all the significant witnesses, gathering all possible facts and evidences besides asking questions during court trial periods. A defense lawyer can settle the case out of the court by negotiating with the prosecutors as well. Through negotiating with the prosecutors out of the court by the help of a criminal defense attorney, the illegal charges may result into a reduced one with decreased penalties and a lesser period of sentence.

Prospects Of Finding A Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal law attorney can make you understand the prospects of out of the court settlement and bargains. This way, you can decide whether you want to go for a bargain offer. Besides, an attorney can help you when you are accused with a crime in the following situations:

  • If you are arrested by the police, you can ask for your attorney to be called to the police station.
  • A lawyer will identify and explain to you the rights that you have after you are detained by the police.
  • An attorney can work for the arrangement of a bail for you to get you out of prison.
  • Your legal representative will explain and take all the necessary legal action.
  • Your attorney will give you the information on what is going to happen ahead, plan and work out the procedures accordingly.

If you cannot afford hiring a top-of-the-layer criminal defense attorney who charges extremely high fees for their experiences and services, do not worry. Just invest a little time in carrying out a research on online attorney to find a lawyer as per your budget. There websites provides comprehensive information on the fees and cases handled by them.

Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis of the Magistrate Court


The Magistrates' Courts play an extremely important role inside the criminal justice system within the United Kingdom. This brief article will assess the functions of the magistrates' court and evaluate the effectiveness of having a mechanism for determining the guilt of a defendant based solely on the discretion of the magistrates present. Before assessing the origins of the magistrate court, there will be a brief examination of what a magistrate is and what their functions are. Following from this, a brief insight into the origins of the magistrate court will be given, as it is important to understand the origins of any system as this will inform the reader of the initiative behind the original concept. After discussing the origins of the system, the procedure of appointment will then be discussed. This process will then be examined when the analysis is focused upon the procedures contained within the Magistrate court for assessing the guilt of a defendant. As a defendant will be denied a trail by jury, the system in place for the appointment of these magistrates is of paramount importance, as all individuals must be judged by their peers. If, after considering the evidence, the current system is deemed to be defective, then possible solutions will be considered to improve the present situation. The article will conclude that although the current system is far from perfect, it serves as a significant filter for more serious crimes which are tried in the Crown Court by a jury.

What is a Magistrate?

In the courts of England and Wales, it is the function of a magistrate to hear prosecutions for summary offences. They have the power to make orders in regard to and placing additional requirements on offenders. Magistrates' sentencing powers are limited compared to that of the Crown Court (See Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis of the Crown Court), extending to shorter periods of custody, fines, probation and community service orders, and a miscellany of other options. Magistrates hear committal proceedings for indictable offences, and establish whether sufficient evidence exists to pass the case to a higher court for trial and sentencing. Magistrates have power to pass summary offenders to higher courts for sentencing when, in the opinion of the magistrate, a penalty greater than can be given in magistrates court is warranted. The function of a magistrate is of great importance, but where did they originally come from?

Origins of the Magistrate Court

The origins of the magistrate system can be seen to have been initiated in the 12th century. Richard I (Richard the Lion heart) commissioned certain knights in England to keep the Kings peace in unruly areas. By the 14th century, a new phrase had been coined to describe individuals who had accepted the responsibility of keeping the peace. The title Justices of the Peace was initiated during the reign of Edward III and referred to 'good and lawful' men to be appointed in every county to 'guard the peace'. The magistrate system has evolved since its early inception and now deals with over 95% of all prosecuted crime and is responsible for handing out over £336m in financial penalties per year. (Source: Department for Constitutional Affairs [DCA]) If a magistrate is responsible for presiding over certain criminal cases, then there must be a proficient system in place to appoint these individuals.

The Appointment Process of Magistrates

The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 provided for Justices of the Peace to be nominated by the Lord Chancellor for the boroughs, in consultation with local advisers. The county benches, however, continued to be confirmed by the Lord Chancellor by way of the nomination of the Lord Lieutenants, who had their own methods for finding suitable candidates. The system was inadequate and was challenged by the Liberal Government in 1906 as there were too many conservatives sitting on the benches. Lord Loreburn, as Liberal Lord Chancellor, nominated 7,000 magistrates of whom 3,197 were Liberals. The Royal Commission on the Appointment of Justice of the Peace in 1910 recommended the institution of an Advisory committee system. A year later Advisory Committees on which Liberals and Conservatives were equally represented had been set up in most counties to advise Lord Lieutenants on nominations. A few years later the boroughs had also formed advisory committees. Originally, appointment to these committees was for life, however, in 1925, Lord Cave introduced appointment for 6 years and ordered half the committees to retire by rotation every three years. A magistrate can, however, still remove a person's liberty for criminal offences. If we are all to be judged by our peers, then a magistrate should be just that. The problem is, however, that the appointment process is engineered towards professional people who share very little with the people that they judge.

Assessing Guilt in a Magistrate Court

As stated above, magistrates will decide on the guilt of a defendant. There will be no trial by jury, therefore, it is essential that the people who sit in judgment are the defendant's peers. If one looks at the application process as provided on the department for constitutional affairs, the qualities needed are good character, ability for understanding and communication, social awareness, maturity and a sound temperament, sound judgment and a commitment to the job. These are all admiral qualities, yet these are not imposed upon any jury that sits in judgment of more serious cases. Why is this so? There are numerous possible explanations for this polarized approach, and often depends upon a person's particular ideological persuasion. Nevertheless, the statistics speak for themselves. Most magistrates are white, middle class males. If one considers that defendants should be judged by their peers, it would be interesting to see how white, middle class males go out stealing cars, or indeed committing other petty criminal offences. What are the possible solutions for this problem?

A Call for a More Diverse Magistrate Pool

Magistrates work on a voluntary basis and need time off work to honor their commitments. There have been Proposals to make it easier for magistrates who are in employment to take time off from work to sit in court (Monday 7 November 2005 10:37 Department for Constitutional Affairs). This, for me, does not solve the problem of having a primarily middle classed system acting as judge, jury and executioner. What is needed is a more diverse magistrate pool. This will provide for a more understanding magistrate. If one has lived in a cozy, secure, insulated world, how are you going to have any affinity with an individual who has had a disrupted childhood? The answer is that you are not. The arguments in favour regarding a more diverse pool of magistrates is deafening, however, it remains to be seen as to whether they will be heard.


This paper has assessed the role of a magistrate within the judicial process by tracing the origins of the magistrate and looking at the way in which a magistrate is appointed. The role of the magistrate is one that should never be undervalued. They give up their time on a voluntary basis and provide a vital service in filtering the more serious crimes to be tried in front of a jury. There exists a fundamental problem, however, in that a magistrate often shares no life experiences with the people that they sit in judgment over. The sociological implications for a system, such as the one in place cannot be underestimated. The time has now come for a more diverse magistrate pool that draws from all members of society, regardless of their previous background.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Today's Time

Criminal defense lawyers sometime get a not-so-flattering portrayal because people assume that they defend guilty people. However, if you are a defendant in a criminal proceeding, you need the assistance of a qualified criminal defense lawyer, regardless of your guilt or innocence. As the protectors and advocates of the accused, defense lawyers play a pivotal role in the United States justice system to see that everyone charged with a criminal act has an opportunity to defend themselves.

Defense Lawyers Protect the Rights of the Accused

First and foremost, a criminal defense lawyer's role is to protect the rights of the accused. Upholding your rights under the Bill of Rights as set forth in the United States Constitution, criminal defense lawyers are bound by law to assist their clients by making sure you are treated fairly by the United States criminal justice system. Specifically, your criminal defense lawyer's job is to see that you are allowed:

·The right to a trial by a jury of your peers;

·The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt";

· The right to a speedy and public trial;

· The right to remain silent;

·The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; and

·The right to legal counsel.

All these rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution and are applicable to all states through the Fourteenth Amendment as well as United States Supreme Court case opinions. As such, a criminal defense lawyer is obligated to provide clients with protection against the overreach of the government in meting out punishment to any individual accused of a criminal offense. An experienced, qualified lawyer accomplishes this by challenging any government or law enforcement conduct that violates the rights of any United States citizen accused of a crime. Should a criminal defense lawyer fail to make reasonable efforts to protect your rights or provide effective assistance, he/she risks losing his/her license to practice law or other penalties (some of which could include jail time).

Criminal Lawyers Defend the Innocent

The second most important role of a criminal defense attorney is to defend the innocent. We see daily about overturned criminal cases where new evidence verifies the incarceration of an innocent person who has served time as a result of an incorrect guilty verdict. And, while for the most part, most clients of criminal defense attorneys are somewhat criminally culpable in the crime they have been charged with, on rare occasions, some of a lawyer's clients are truly innocent. Though a rare occurrence, innocent people are accused and convicted of criminal offenses.

To combat the prosecution of the wrongly accused, criminal defense lawyers must be diligent in holding prosecutors and police accountable for every stage of their investigation in every case they handle. Thus, defense lawyers must take seriously their role as advocates for the innocent and the not-so-innocent to assure that the guilty don't escape while the innocent are punished.

Therefore, to accomplish the task of upholding a client's constitution rights and acting as a watchdog to oversee the conduct of police and prosecutors, a criminal defense lawyer must zealously pursue independent investigations into the crime for which a client has been accused to assure that at trial, that client is either completely exonerated or that there is enough evidence to prove that reasonable doubt exists to warrant his/her client's release from custody.

And, while for the majority of instances, a person who has reached the point of a jury trial is guilty, defense attorneys are mandated to provide every client an opportunity to a fair trial. Guilty or not, everyone has the constitutional right to have a fair trial. With a strong belief in the adversarial nature of the criminal justice system, reputable criminal defense attorneys recognize the right of every citizen to have representation and sometimes must put aside their emotions to represent those who have committed very serious crimes.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Defend the Guilty

In general guilty clients that criminal defense attorney' represent fall into two categories:

·Those who deny criminal culpability; and

·Those who take responsibility for their criminal behavior

Most lawyers agree that the most difficult criminal client to represent is one that takes some responsibility for the crime as it is much easier to establish innocence or reasonable doubt when you don't think your client is guilty. Facing ethical and moral dilemmas daily, a criminal defense lawyer must deal with situations where they have knowingly facilitated the release of a guilty person, risking their reputation and a clear conscience. On the other hand, defense lawyers get a great deal of satisfaction when their representation of an accused individual has a positive impact on society. For instance, when a criminal defense lawyer helps a client avoid more serious legal consequences by intervening in lives to affect positive change (i.e., plea bargains of rehabilitation instead of jail time, community service and probation instead of jail time etc.). As a trusted advocate, criminal defense lawyers have a great deal of influence on their clients' lives as opposed to a judge, prosecutor or probation officer.

Lawyers are a Necessary Part of the United States Judicial System

Sometimes portrayed as villains who help criminals run free, criminal defense lawyers are necessary for the United States legal system to run smoothly. Without the availability of qualified legal representation for those accused of crimes, the potential for overreach by government would be great. A balanced system where all parties are represented and where one side isn't given free rein to rule over the other is what our judicial system is all about. And, while every system has its flaws, the United States judicial system is still the best available in the world.

How COMPSTAT Helped Enforce Criminal Laws in Los Angeles

The LAPD credits some of the decrease in violent crime trends to the institution and tailoring of the COMPSTAT crime control model. COMPSTAT, short for computer statistics, hopes to implement proactive methods of fighting crime.

Part of the reason it is so effective is that it holds police managers accountable for their assigned area and gives them the authority to use their resources effectively. The core elements of COMSTAT are:

  • Accurate and timely intelligence. The police need to create and utilize an effective method of sharing information between the levels of the organization. This includes details about recent crime patterns and trends. Implementation of accurate intelligence exchange allows the police force to use limited resources more effectively.
  • Effective tactics. The police must treat every case as a big case and apply thorough, rapid investigation systematically. COMPSTAT also encourages officers to handle social and environmental influences that may create or add to a problem.
  • Rapid deployment. The police can monitor criminal trends and patterns as they emerge using regularly updated COMPSTAT data. Officers can use this information to act proactively with decoys, plainclothes, and uniformed police activity. Without COMPSTAT, the LAPD would usually only deploy officers when they received reports of criminal activity.
  • Relentless follow-up and assessment. Possibly taking a tip from successful business practices, COMPSTAT focuses everything on getting results. The COMPSTAT Unit scrutinizes administrative, operational, and investigative police activity to find what is producing positive results and what is not. The Unit also reviews past tactics to prevent the LAPD from using those that have not been successful.

Sentencing Guidelines in Los Angeles
Judges pass sentences on defendants in almost every state and federal criminal case. They base the sentences on the laws and constitution of their state and the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits excessive punishments.

The laws and constitution in California outline what activities are criminal offenses and acceptable penalties for such actions. In most cases, the statute provides a range of possible punishments. If the judge believes the actions of the defendant deserve it, he or she can pass a more serious sentence.

The following parties can request the judge apply the minimum or maximum sentence available:

  • State attorneys
  • Family of the victim
  • Defendants

However, some states and all federal criminal laws include mandatory sentences for criminal convictions. This requires the judge sentence every person convicted of that crime the same. Most crimes in California do not carry mandatory penalties, and the defendant's Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can speak on behalf of his or her client before the judge passes sentence to try to reduce the penalties they face.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Those that have been charged with a crime will need an effective criminal defense lawyer. While there are qualified public defenders capable of decent representation, you do not want merely decent representation. The outcome of a judgment can have life altering consequences for the person who is charged. This is why it is of paramount important to select the appropriate criminal defense lawyer.

An appropriate selection, however, does not mean you merely open up the local phone directory or perform a cursory search online and base a selection on the advertisement you come across. To reiterate, there will be life altering consequences which can occur when a negative judgment is issued. The way to avoid this would be to hire an attorney that is intimately capable of providing you with the best available representation. In order to acquire such representation, you will need to follow a few established steps for making sure you are working with a criminal defense lawyer that will be effective.

The most obvious - yet often overlooked - attribute you will need to seek out is a criminal defense lawyer that is a specialist in the area of criminal defense you require representation. Not all crimes are the same and this means different approaches are required to effectively perform the proper representation. Matching your unique situation with an attorney that has specific experience and expertise in the crime you are charged with is a must.

You also need to work with a criminal defense lawyer that has your needs in mind. You definitely do not want to work with a lawyer that is not representing you in the appropriate manner. For example, you do not want to plea bargain, you do not want to work with a lawyer that is seemingly trying to force you into such a direction. This would not be to the benefit of anyone involved.

That said you do have to understand that the attorney has more expertise than you in such matters. In some instances, it would be best to follow along with the suggestion of your attorney provided the attorney has explained why his approach is the most advisable.

On the other hand, you do not want to work with an attorney that will only "yes" you on all your requests because this could lead to a disastrous legal outcome. Such representation really is not representation and attorneys with this attitude are best avoided.

Obviously, an attorney must be compensated for his time and duty. Criminal defense representation can potentially be very costly. However, there is no reason to assume you will be limited to inflexible and expensive payment options. There are highly talented criminal defense attorneys who can offer representation with an affordable payment structure. Seeking out such attorneys is highly advised if costs are a concern of yours.

Ultimately, you will want to work with the best criminal defense lawyer you can hire. The situation is just too serious and dire to work with a lawyer that cannot provide you with the absolute best help for your case.

Criminal Law - An Overview

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in US the first thing you need to do is to contact a criminal defense attorney. The criminal law in US is quite complicated and it requires professional expertise to deal with a legal battle. Chicago is no different in this respect. Getting arrested can be a stressful and traumatic experience. It can affect your life in many ways. So you need some one who has both experience and expertise to ensure minimizing the harsh consequences following your arrest.

While going through such a disturbed mental state an accused person can not handle the intricate legal issues. Naturally he or she needs a lawyer who can aggressively fight on behalf of that person. From drug charges to DUI offenses, an experienced lawyer can handle all types if cases.

Criminal Charges

Chicago criminal law emphasizes on both federal laws and state laws. If someone violates any of the following laws criminal charges can be brought against that person.

  • Robbery and burglary
  • Crimes of violence
  • Property crimes
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Domestic crimes
  • Motor vehicle offenses
  • White collar crimes
  • Sex crimes

Criminal Defense

Criminal law process in Chicago has a set format. Since the Chicago criminal defense lawyers are well aware of the process it is easier for them to take every step cautiously so that the negative consequences can be minimized. Therefore you should not do a single thing without consulting your lawyer.


Whenever you suspect that you may get involved in any kind of investigation related to some crime the immediate step to be taken is to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you have been accused or arrested and further investigation is going to take place a criminal defense can help you to gather information that can be of much significance in your case.

Charges & Bail

As soon as a person is arrested the prosecutor decides what to charge the accused person. In such a situation a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can protect your rights. The constitutional rights include:

  • right to remain silent
  • right to have a lawyer
  • right to have a trial
  • right to be presumed innocent

While the trial goes on your attorney can apply for your bail. Your lawyer will post money or bond as bail which will ensure your further appearance in the court. Before posting bail money or bond it is crucial to consult an attorney to see what the legal options for the accused person are.

Hearing, Trial & Sentencing

An accused person initially faces hearings. During the hearings the criminal defense attorney can try to reduce the charges brought against the accused. If the case proceeds to trial it is crucial to have an attorney on your side to ensure that the charges are being reduced. If you are convicted of a crime the attorney can at least go for a plea bargain and get the most favorable sentence for you.