It’s easy to think that because you’ve seen A Few Good Men or watched a few episodes of Suits, you know what lawyers get up to from day to day.

Of course the reality is very different from the way the work of legal pros is interpreted in the media. So what kinds of tasks does a criminal defence lawyer take on, and how will this help you if you’re accused of a crime?

Interviewing clients in detail

Once a lawyer is assigned to your case, or you hire them independently, they’ll speak to you privately about all of the pertinent information, and use what they find to begin determining the next steps that are best for you.

Speaking to a lawyer is a legal right, as is having what you tell them kept confidential, so it’s always worth grabbing this opportunity.

Carrying out their own investigations

A criminal lawyer won’t just base their defence of a client on a single conversation; they’ll seek to dig deep into the case, using investigative skills and hiring others to assist if necessary so that they’ve got as much leverage as possible if it goes to trial.

This can involve interviewing witnesses, and also checking to see what the prosecution is intending to use against their client. And at a time when even celebs are highlighting underhanded police behaviours, a good lawyer is more important than ever.

Examining evidence and finding flaws or paths forward

There’s a lot involved in evidence analysis, and this isn’t just something which the cops do to find defendants guilty.

Criminal lawyers take a look at everything pertinent to the case to see if it stacks up with the claims made against their clients, or if there’s been a mistake in the system which could free them, or at least raise doubts about the prosecution’s case. This kind of attention to detail is one of the things that could help you sleep at night if you’re the one under scrutiny.

Finding a criminal lawyer if you’re accused of a crime

To get the best lawyer for your case, you need to look to experienced pros who are located nearby. For example, the accomplished lawyers at Marshall serve as criminal defence lawyers for clients across New Jersey, because they know better than anyone else what it takes to fight a criminal accusation in this state.

Ensuring a lack of bias in the jury

Another legal requirement is that when a case goes before a jury, the members are carefully vetted to ensure there’s no innate bias against the defendant present.

The defence lawyer is part of this filtration process, and they will even be able to eliminate jurors if all they’ve got to go on is a hunch.

Pleading with the prosecutor

Striking a plea bargain is common in many cases, because it means that the defendant can minimize their sentence or even avoid incarceration altogether, so long as they make certain concessions.

A lawyer will be the negotiator in this instance, and so again it pays to have experienced legal professionals on your side.

Holding court at the trial

This is the part of the job that’s usually featured at the cinema or on TV. Lawyers do really perform many of the theatrics that you’ve seen recreated by actors, although this goes on for hours, days or even weeks, rather than just a few minutes.

Seeking fair sentencing

Should a lawyer have been unable to get a client the outcome they’d hoped for, after a conviction they will again negotiate with the prosecutor to try and make sure that the sentence their client receives is proportionate.

So in terms of what criminal lawyers actually do, the answer is that they do a heck of a lot for a lot of people!