Becoming A Criminal Lawyer

Criminal defence lawyers also known as public defenders are lawyers whose primary purpose is to defend individuals or entities who have been accused of committing a crime. Criminal attorneys handle different cases such as; sexual assaults, driving under the influence (DUI), drugs cases, theft and fraud. Criminal lawyers are privately retained, others work for non-profit firms while others are employed by the state and are referred to as public defenders.

Education Wise just like all lawyers, criminal lawyers must have a law degree and sit and pass the bar exams for the state in which they intend to practice law. Once you have passed the bar, you are ready for the court. However, their some criminal attorneys that go further and earn board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC).

Job Description

Criminal lawyers defend individuals who are charged by either the state, federal or local courts. They deal with issues such as; bond hearings, an arrest, plea bargains, sentencing appeals and parole or probation hearings. As part of their job description the best Sydney criminal lawyer ought to:

● Do thorough investigations on the case including interviewing the witnesses, the defendant and other parties involved. This will give him/her more insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
● Have a clear understanding of the constitution especially the statutes and laws related to the case. Such statutes include the fourth amendment which protects illegal searches and the fifth amendment which protects one from incriminating him/herself. This will enable them to protect their client’s constitutional right.
● Build a well laid out case and come up with the strategy to win the case. They can consult with the prosecution for a plea bargain which may be a lesser charge, a lesser sentence or sometimes both.
● Draft motions and file them on behalf of their clients. The motions include; pretrial motions, motion to dismiss or motion to suppress which must be filled by the law.
● Argue and fight for their client at trial. The attorney should examine and cross-examine witnesses to prove to the jury that the prosecution has not met the burden of proof to prosecute their witness.
● In Case the defendant is sentenced, the criminal lawyers have the duty file and argue appeals on behalf of the client. He or she ought to convince the jury to lessen the sentence or other possible alternatives.


A criminal lawyer has to have exceptional oral, memorizing and written advocacy skills to argue a case before a judge and the grand jury. Criminal law is however very exciting especially for lawyers that do not mind occasional TV appearances. Criminal lawyers should possess creative thinking and able to withstand pressure. They must possess the skills to think quickly as most cases there’s no time to look something up or seek a second opinion, especially if in court.

Criminal law is for those individuals that enjoy a challenge and enjoy being active. For the attorneys that enjoy the thrill of the courthouse, then criminal law is yours.