A criminal lawyer is an attorney specializing in defence of businesses and people charged with criminal offences. The vast majority of criminal lawyers Adelaide start their careers by working as public defenders or court-appointed attorneys. These attorneys usually maintain a private practice and are not permitted to discuss their cases with the media unless authorized to do so by a court order.
There are two principal sources for locating criminal defence attorneys in Adelaide. Referrals from family and friends are the first standard method of finding qualified attorneys. Other sources of information include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the National Law Journal’s judicial column. These two sources have published articles on local criminal defence attorneys and public defenders.
Many criminal lawyers undertake pro-bono work to help those who cannot afford to hire an attorney. This includes providing free legal counsel to those facing minor crimes, traffic tickets, drug possession, and nominal drug manufacturing or distribution charges. These lawyers also reduce jail time for many defendants who would otherwise serve time in jail because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Many criminal lawyers Adelaide work to establish plea bargains for their clients, where the defendant will plead to a lesser offence in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Most criminal defence attorneys will assign a private investigator to follow their client around the courthouse and interview witnesses, police officers, and any other person who may provide critical information about the case. The investigator will use this information to build a case against the defendant. Sometimes a defendant will plead guilty even though they did not do anything wrong. The criminal defence attorney will try to undercut the prosecution by using secret witness intimidation tactics, filing a motion to dismiss, and making embarrassing statements to police officers posing as a defence witness.
Some criminal defence attorneys choose to work privately. However, if they decide to represent a client who has committed a criminal act that they believe could land the client in prison, they must disclose their conflict of interest with the opposing party. Criminal lawyers Adelaide must pass ethics examinations before becoming a practising law professional. Attorneys who want to practice law must take a number of additional courses. They must be thoroughly familiar with the area they will be working in so that they can competently represent the people who come before them.