Criminal Defense Lawyer: What They Do and Why You Need One

A criminal defense lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in defending people who have been charged with crimes. They can represent clients at all stages of the criminal justice process, from arrest to trial to sentencing.

What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

A criminal defense lawyer can help you with a variety of tasks, including:

  • Investigating your case: A criminal defense lawyer will investigate the facts of your case to determine what happened and whether you have a valid defense.
  • Filing motions: A criminal defense lawyer can file motions on your behalf, such as motions to suppress evidence or motions to dismiss the charges.
  • Negotiating a plea bargain: A criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf. A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the prosecutor in which you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to a reduced sentence in exchange for the prosecutor dropping some or all of the charges against you.
  • Representing you at trial: If your case goes to trial, your criminal defense lawyer will represent you in court and fight for your rights.

Why Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

There are many reasons why you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with a crime, including:

  • The stakes are high: If you are convicted of a crime, you could face serious consequences, such as jail time, fines, and a criminal record.
  • The criminal justice system is complex: The criminal justice system is complex and can be difficult to navigate on your own. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and can guide you through the process.
  • The prosecution has an unfair advantage: The prosecution has a number of resources at its disposal, including trained investigators and prosecutors. A criminal defense lawyer can help level the playing field and ensure that your rights are protected.

How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When choosing a criminal defense lawyer, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Choose a lawyer who has experience handling criminal cases similar to yours.
  • Reputation: Ask other lawyers and judges for recommendations. You can also read online reviews of lawyers.
  • Communication style: Choose a lawyer who you feel comfortable communicating with and who you trust to represent you.
  • Fees: Ask about the lawyer’s fees upfront. Some lawyers charge the hour, while others charge a flat fee.


If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer can help you investigate your case, file motions, negotiate a plea bargain, and represent you at trial.