In a criminal case, two pivotal figures stand on opposite sides. The prosecutor strives to secure a conviction while a criminal defense attorney fights for the accused. But there’s also a lot more to the work of a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, and understanding what each does is vital for anyone accused of a crime.
This blog post delves into the roles of prosecutors and defense attorneys, shedding light on their duties, objectives, and the process behind how they build a case. If you need a criminal defense lawyer in Clemson or Greenville, SC, contact Boatwright Legal today.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney in Clemson, SC Do?
A defense attorney works inside and outside of the courtroom on behalf of the client. The defense attorney investigates every aspect of the case and advises the client on how he or she should plead in court regarding the alleged charges.
If the client submits a “not guilty” plea, the defense attorney will focus on working hard to get them acquitted in court. If the client pleads guilty, the defense attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor and strive to secure a plea deal or reduced sentence.
With the rights and interests of their clients as a priority, the defense attorney focuses on protecting them even before the court hearing or trial begins. For instance, the defense attorney works to:
- Educate their client on the legal process and their rights
- Protect clients’ constitutional rights
- Explain the charges, potential consequences, and possible defenses
- Challenge the admissibility of evidence that was improperly obtained
- Handle legal filings and paperwork required by the court
- Advise clients if a plea deal offer from the prosecutor is in their best interest.
- Negotiate plea bargains for reduced charges or sentencing
- Represent clients during court hearings, arraignments, and trial proceedings
The defense attorney strives to advocate for the best interests of their clients regardless of whether they believe in their client’s innocence or guilt.
What Is the Role of the Prosecutor?
The prosecutor’s primary goal is to end the criminal case with a conviction. He or she will gather the evidence and witnesses needed to strategically persuade the jurors and/or judge that the defendant is guilty.
As a public officer and representative of the District Attorney’s office, the prosecutor presents the state’s case against the defendant. At any part of the judicial process, they have the ability to reduce or even drop the charges filed against the defendant.
A key difference that separates defense attorneys from prosecutors is the burden of proof involved if the case goes to court.
The prosecutor is the one who bears the burden of proof in a criminal case, he or she is required to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means convincing the jury that the only reasonable explanation based on all the evidence is that the defendant is guilty.
By contrast, a criminal defense attorney can win a trial by convincing the jury that the prosecutor’s case isn’t strong enough.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help You?
A criminal defense attorney in Clemson, SC will fight to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
Your defense attorney will investigate the case thoroughly, interview witnesses, and collaborate with experts if necessary. Their goal is to uncover any inconsistencies, errors, or misconduct in the prosecution’s case that can be used to your advantage.
Protecting Your Rights
A criminal defense lawyer will guard against violations of your rights during police interrogations, searches, and other legal proceedings.
Your attorney will tailor a strategy tailored to your specific case. They may challenge the evidence, question the legality of law enforcement procedures, or present an alibi or other defenses depending on the circumstances.
Negotiating a Plea Deal
If a plea bargain is in your best interest, a defense lawyer may negotiate with the prosecutor to secure favorable terms, such as reduced charges or sentencing.
Representation in Court
Defense attorneys participate in the jury selection process, questioning potential jurors to identify biases or prejudices that might affect their ability to be impartial. Your attorney will attack any weakness in the prosecutor’s case, cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence to defend you.
Contact Boatright Legal for a Free Case Evaluation
Boatwright Legal has experience in handling a wide range of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to felonies. We will fight to get you the best possible outcome, whether it is a dismissal of your charges, a reduction in your sentence, or an acquittal at trial.
We serve clients in several areas, including Greenville, Oconee, Clemson, and Anderson. Contact our law firm to schedule your free consultation and learn how a defense attorney can work for you firsthand.