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Everything You Wanted to Know About Criminal Lawyers, Part 2
The details of the job of a criminal attorney is a broad topic, and there are two basic problems with it – It is difficult to find a good place to start, and there always seems to be more to learn about criminal defense lawyers. It’s quite similar to trying to find out how different types of courts work.
But, there is hope, as we can give you some advice. For example, you could start by finding out what cases criminal lawyers deal with. From there on, you can continue with our two-part guide on the obligations of criminal lawyers in San Diego.
Does every criminal attorney have a specialty?
No, not every criminal lawyer has to have a specialty. By law, and by schooling, every lawyer is able to practice in any field of law they choose to. They are educated in such a manner that prepares them for all eventualities within the Southern District of California Department of Justice.
However, that does not mean that every lawyer is suited for every field of the law. Some lawyers function better as prosecutors, while other work better as defense lawyers. That is why the majority of lawyers choose a single field to work in.
But, a lawyer doesn’t not need to have a formal speciality – a piece of paper stating that he or she is dedicated to a single field of law. In the majority of cases, it comes down to a lawyer simply sticking to the familiar guns, and practicing the craft in a certain field.
Later on, though, we are going to discuss different types of criminal lawyers, as well as their functional specializations. However, do not presume that to be a “specialist” of a field means you have to have official certification. It’s better if you do, but you don’t have to.
How long do criminal lawyers spend on each case?
The time a criminal lawyer spends on a certain case can in no way be generalized, and it first and foremost depends on the case in question. Sometimes, a skillful lawyer can finish a case faster than an inexperienced colleague, but it’s mostly down to the case.
For example, some cases are pretty straight forward, and they may not even require going to trial. Misdemeanors are usually resolved rather quickly, before going to trial, and they require only a couple of hours of time to deal with.
Other cases… Well, that’s an entirely different story. Violent felonies, serious financial crimes, frauds, etc… They can take up from a dozen or so hours of a lawyer’s time, up to a hundred hours, all depending on the severity of the crime and the complexity of the case.
How does a person become a criminal defense lawyer?
Now, this is an interesting one. First thing you need to know is that becoming a criminal defense attorney requires a lot of time, effort, and dedication. Here’s how the process usually goes:
- A person first has to acquire a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university or college. There are no prerequisites stating that you have to study political science or pre-law. You can choose the major of your choice.
- After that, there’s the demanding process of trying to be admitted into a law school. This means taking GRE or LSAT, writing a couple of personal essays, and providing undergrad transcripts. You have to graduate from a law school which is ABA-accredited.
- Finally, you have to pass your Bar Exam. Additionally, you have to be deemed morally fit. It is only after all this that you can work as a criminal attorney.
Are there different types of criminal defense lawyers?
Yes, there certainly are different types of criminal lawyers, and we’re about to separate them into pairs and see what the differences are:
- Criminal lawyer vs. criminal attorney – These two terms are mostly used interchangeably. However, a criminal attorney is an individual who’s been admitted to a bar, while a criminal lawyer is a practitioner of criminal law still hasn’t been admitted to a bar. Lawyers can do legal work and provide legal advice, but they cannot act as legal representatives in the court of law.
- Public criminal attorney vs. private criminal attorney – The names say it all, more or less. A private attorney is an individual who is admitted to a bar and is employed privately. They charge fees, but can also work pro bono.
Public attorneys are, on the other hand, employed by the government, also members of a bar, and they also represent defendants. They do not charge any fees since they’re paid a salary by the government.
- Federal criminal attorney vs. state criminal attorney – Federal criminal defense lawyers are there for federal crimes. In order to become a federal attorney, you first need to be admitted to a federal court bar. Additionally, these attorneys usually hone their craft as state attorneys before becoming federal attorneys.
State attorneys, on the other hand, represent individuals accused of state crimes. They have to become members of the bar in the state they plan on practicing law, and they usually specialize in the laws of that state.
- Street crime defense attorney vs. white collar defense attorney – Street crime lawyers deal with violent crimes, which usually include drug crimes, vandalism, robbery, assault, etc. White collar lawyers deal with non-violent crimes which usually have to do with finances, including forgery, graud, money laundering, embezzlement, etc.
How can I hire a criminal lawyer?
There’s no great wisdom when hiring a criminal defense attorney. First, you need to take your time and try to find the best criminal lawyer you can afford and which you would like to work on your case and represent your interests.
Next, you need to schedule a consultation, let the attorney become familiar with the nuances of your case, and see if they are willing to represent you in the court of law. A lawyer can turn down your case, and you needn’t take it personally.
An attorney can turn your case down for a majority of reasons – a busy caseload, a personal preference concerning the type of case you’re presenting, or another reason that is never discriminatory.
If the lawyer chooses to take your case, you need to work out the fees and the payment plan and that’s it. Once you’re done with that, you can rest easy knowing you’ve secured adequate legal representation.
“Where can I find leading criminal lawyers in San Diego?”
If you’re looking for legal representation in San Diego, then you should only consider the Monder Criminal Lawyer Group. We are an experienced team of seasoned criminal defense professionals who always work in favor of their clients.
We know how you feel – not even the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park can lift your spirits. And that’s ok. But, if you want to feel better, the answer is simple – hire Monder Criminal Lawyer Group as your legal representatives!