Here is How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Prepares For Trial

Television has greatly dramatized what a criminal defense lawyer does. While it is true that we spend our time defending those who have been accused of crimes and spend a lot of time working with police, district attorneys, and judges – much of what we do would be too boring for the average television viewer. Luckily for someone accused of a crime, however, it is the long, tedious hours of work before the exciting trial that usually results in a not guilty verdict. The behind the scenes activity may not make for good television, but it is what makes our criminal justice system work.So what do we do when not making emphatic closing arguments, or wowing juries with a sharp breakdown of witness testimony?Pretrial planning: As a criminal defense lawyer, we need to have a detailed understanding of the various factors that will ultimately influence the outcome of the trial. For this, we will look at all of the evidence, the testimonies, and the potential arguments the prosecution will be making. Asking hard questions like who, what, when, and how bring all the relevant facts to light and allow us to formulate a strategy for presenting the case in the most favorable light. We will often look at the case with two questions in mind… a.    What conclusion do I want to the jury to draw from the evidence? b.    What evidence needs to be presented so that the jury draws the conclusions I need them to?Preparing: In order to prepare for the trial, we will conduct a full investigation of all the facts that are to be presented. We need to paint a picture for the jury and show all the events surrounding the incident (which makes up the core of the case).  As a criminal defense lawyer, we will present information on why these events occurred along with any information relevant to prior events that may help form the basis for the defense.  We will also present evidence to discredit the opposition’s witnesses, and information to bolster the credibility of our own witnesses. Finally, we will be prepared to counter evidence, or suppress it if possible, that the prosecution could present to bolster their case. All of this information needs to be put in an organized format which allows us to access what we need quickly while in court.Organizing a case file: Criminal defense lawyers, and in fact lawyers in general, are notorious for lugging around large boxes of paperwork. To the layman this could seem like an exercise in showmanship, but nothing could be further from the truth. In order to win a legal case, the devil is in the details. Lawyers must comb through the evidence and facts with a fine tooth comb in order to pull out the facts relevant to the case while seeking to exclude factors that might negatively impact the outcome. A detailed, well-organized case file is how we stay on track and ensures that we have what we need at the moment that we need it.As a criminal defense lawyer, we understand that the preparation for a case is often where the case is won.  We are organized, detailed, and methodical to ensure that our clients have the best shot at remaining free.

Leave a Reply