Understanding an attorney’s role


When you are being charged with a crime, seeking legal counsel is always a good idea. An attorney can help you better understand the charges and possible penalties you are facing as well as all of the options available to you. Navigating the Florida courts can be an intimidating process, but U.S. citizens have a right to counsel provided for in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. Having an attorney with you during these weeks can help.

During a criminal case, especially those involving federal charges, the defense attorney plays an extremely important role in helping the defendant understand the various aspects of the case. It’s very common for defendants not to be fully aware of their constitutional rights and not know that an officer made an illegal search and seizure or committed a similar infraction until they begin discussing the details with their attorney.

Many people may think of a television crime drama and the obligatory court scene where the attorney is questioning a witness when they think of lawyers. However, one of the most important purposes of a criminal defense attorney is to provide both information and counsel. Defendants need to understand the options they have, as well as the pros and cons of each, to ensure they make informed decisions. Attorney also have an obligation to tell their clients which path may be in their best interests.

Much of what a defense attorney does goes on behind the scenes. However, if the case is taken to trial, it’s also important to have an attorney that will not shy away from challenging evidence or witness testimony to help further their case.

Source: FindLaw, "The Right to Counsel," accessed June 15, 2015

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