meaningful Factors That Make a Successful Criminal Defence Lawyer


Many people believe that a good criminal lawyer is one who is aggressive and, perhaps, already pushy with the prosecutor or the estimate. This belief may already include the idea that a successful criminal lawyer uses theatrics and deception to win in court. This cannot be further from the truth.

No doubt, this perception is influenced, at the minimum partly, by the many chief-time American television programs featuring tricky lawyers pulling the wool over the eyes of judges and juries, or aggressively pressuring the prosecutor to “cut a deal”. However, in real life practice in Canadian courts, there are four factors that a good criminal lawyer needs in order to successfully defend a client against a criminal charge.

1) Knowledge and experience in the law;
2) Thorough preparation of the facts of the case;
3) Ability to eloquently argue both;
4) Persistence (not aggressiveness) in achieving a successful consequence.

Knowledge and Experience in the Law

This is perhaps the most important factor. A thorough understanding of the various aspects of the law as it applies to a particular charge is necessary in order for a good criminal lawyer to think quickly and deal with any issues that arise in court or any questions that the estimate may have. The ability to effectively respond to these issues not only satisfies the estimate that the lawyer has an answer, but also gives the estimate confidence that the lawyer knows what he is doing in defending the client against the criminal charges. Also, a substantial legal argument at the conclusion of the trial can make the difference needed to win the case.

Thorough preparation of the Facts of the Case

Knowing what the police, expert witnesses and civilian witnesses are going to testify to, in addition as any other evidence against a client facing a criminal charge, not only allows a good criminal lawyer to prepare effective cross-examinations, but also provides the advantage of being able to quickly respond to the situation where a observe contradicts what he or she has stated to the police or in past testimony. A good lawyer can capitalize on contradictory evidence, which could be helpful to the client, if the factual details are virtually memorized. Thorough preparation of the facts of the case is an basic factor in successfully defending a client facing criminal charges.

Ability to Eloquently Argue Both

Being intimately familiar with the law and the facts is an basic foundation for any defence. Being able to pull the two together in an eloquent argument is what makes a good criminal lawyer successful in court. It is never advantageous to attempt to bully the prosecutor, the estimate or the jury in an effort to acquire a successful consequence. The winning argument is one that is knowledgeable, eloquent and persuasive.

Persistence (not aggressiveness) in Achieving a Successful consequence

It is easy for one to confuse persistence with aggressiveness. There is a big difference. Aggressive behaviour, whether inside or outside of the courtroom, only serves to put people on the defensive and, ultimately, alienates the estimate and jury. However, persistence in putting forth the position of the defence at every reasonable opportunity can be very effective, in combination with the three factors listed above, in obtaining a successful consequence at the end of the day.

With these four factors present, an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer can take advantage of a number of opportunities to successfully represent a client throughout all phases of the criminal case.

Copyright © 2011 Steven Tress, Barrister and Solicitor. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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