Finding yourself in trouble with the law is about ending up powerless to control your own destiny. To end up in the hands of the law, is to have someone else need to guide you again, like when you were a child. The person who has the potential to make things better again is the defence laywer, who will assume almost a parental role in helping an accused, trying everything at their disposal to prove innocence and make things better again.
So, this article will look at 3 kinds of cases that a defence lawyer will deal with and try to turn into the favour of their clients, when all hope seems lost.
Cases of Harm
To be accused of harming another from a physical assault is one that in most cases will see a defendant going to prison. That is, if it can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. A lawyer, where there is strong forensic evidence linking their client, will recommend them entering an early guilty plea. You may wonder then, what is the point of having a defence lawyer, if there is no defence anyway? Well, the fact is, it that then the defence lawyer’s job becomes that of being responsible for finding the reasons as to why their defendant acted in such a violent way. For instance, were they provoked? This is something that will be able to be included in mitigating circumstances, which will ultimately reduce the length of any sentence handed down.
Cases of fraud attract sentences as lengthy as the time that the cases can run for. These cases are complex and specialist, and the evidence will generally relate to computer files and money transferred to hidden bank accounts under the defendant’s name or a pseudonym. It is essential the chosen lawyer has a financial understanding, a knowledge of computers, and has a proven record of success with such cases. The role of an accountant may be a completely different occupation, but the lawyer will need to put themselves in the shoes of an accountant to work out how best to help their client.
Lawyers who deal in driving or motoring offences are sometimes called DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laywers, as they specialize in drink driving offences, which carry the highest penalty when linked to harm or loss of life having been caused to a motorist or pedestrian due to a drunk motorist’s inability to control a vehicle. The evidence will be from a breathalyzer reading, urine test, and the level of alcohol recorded as showing in the blood soon after the offence was committed. It may be for the defence lawyer to prove that the blood sample was contaminated or not pertaining to the accused. Or perhaps that police procedures had not been followed in stopping the defendant, for what might have been a routine check-up which found them out. Failing that, and where no injury resulted from the episode of drink driving, mitigating circumstances can be played on, such as how important the vehicle is to the client’s work. The creative mind of the defence lawyer and his knowledge of past cases, as with all cases, is paramount in proving innocence or in building a case of mitigation.
In the United Kingdom, at the time of writing, the alcohol limit for driving is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, 107 milligrams per 100 millilitres of urine, or 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.
In America, for drivers over the age of 21, it is illegal for the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to be 0.08 percent or higher. For drivers under 21, the legal limit is lower and state limits can range from 0.00 to 0.02.
In conclusion, the value an experienced defence lawyer brings to a case cannot be under-estimated. If they are unable to prove innocence because of the weight of evidence against a defendant, they can still prove invaluable in putting together a strong case of mitigating circumstances, which can impact greatly on any sentence given.