Defense attorneys are an integral component of the legal system, and they tend to have a crucial role to play in any important legal proceeding. These lawyers are the ones responsible for adequately defending the person charged with the relevant crime, so that they are proven non-guilty or receive the minimum punishment possible. Prominent defense attorneys like David Serna strive to do whatever they can within the boundaries of the law to clear their clients of charges. Mr. Serna is quite an experienced and well-established defense lawyer who largely caters to the people of Albuquerque in New Mexico.
David Serna talks about the important duties that defense attorneys have to perform
Defense lawyers ideally can work on both criminal and white collate cases, depending on their area of interest or specialization. While a number of these lawyers are retained privately, in many cases they are employed by various jurisdictions for the purpose of representing people who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The Albuquerque based lawyer, David Serna highlights that for the proper working of the judicial system, the responsibilities and duties of defense attorneys are highly important. The major duties that the defense attorneys are needed to perform ideally include:
- Assessing the case: Unlike the popular notion, the role of a defense attorney starts way before a case is brought to the court for trial. These professionals firstly have to acquire a thorough understanding of each and every aspect of their client’s case. The defense lawyers typically interview witnesses and potential witnesses of a case, go through the evidence involved, have frank conversations with their clients, to adequately determine the chances of their acquittal or conviction.
- Handling Pleas: Usually the prosecutors consult the defense attorney at quite an early stage of a case to make an offer for a plea deal or bargain. This largely involves the aspect of the defendant pleading guilty, however to a comparatively lesser crime than they have been accused of. In these scenarios, the defense lawyers have to carefully decide if accepting the plea deal would be in the best interest of their clients or not. They have to make this decision on the basis of their research, witness accounts and evidence collected. These professionals may even try to renegotiate the deal and its terms with the prosecutor to try and get a better offer.
- Trying the case: The most important duties of the defense lawyers arise as a case goes to trial. In these situations, the attorneys firstly have to see to it whether a single judge or a jury would hear the relevant case. In case there is a jury involved, then the very next step of the lawyers should be to carefully evaluate each of the prospective jurors and get an idea of how they would feel about the case, the charges, and the accused individual. David Serna marks that the lawyers must try to create a jury panel that would be sympathetic to their clients.
These were some of the key duties of a defense attorney.