Criminal defense lawyers represent people accused of crimes in court. Their
duty is to provide the best defense possible, using all the legal means they
have to win an acquittal for their client.
This may mean challenging evidence brought by the prosecution, calling
character witnesses to vouch for the defendant and overseeing investigations
that explore alternative theories about who committed the crime in question.
Criminal defense lawyers defend anyone accused of a crime. Their clients
may range from accused murderers and rapists to drunk drivers and people charged
with possession of illegal drugs.
Some legal organizations are concerned that because the best law students
are drawn to high-paying jobs in other types of law, criminal defendants are
not getting the best representation they can. That can lead to the conviction
of innocent people and a flood of appeals cases in higher courts.
Working hours vary. Many young criminal defense attorneys find they often
work 70 hours or more a week in order to get their careers started successfully.
While criminal courts only operate on weekdays, the possibility of weekend
and all-night meetings with clients always exists.