The Role Of The Criminal Defense Attorney
● Investigating the incident, interviewing the client and witnesses, discussing the matter
with the prosecutor, representing defendant, entering into plea negotiations, preparing the
case for trial, filing and arguing legal motions with the court, representing the defendant
at trial, and determining basis for appeal.
● Client privilege verses justice.
Defending The Accused
Legal Services For The Indigent
Indigent defendant: a defendant who lacks the funds to hire a private attorney and is therefore
entitled to free counsel.
● Prior to 1963 assigned counsel (private) or a public defender (Gov.) was given.
Recoupment: process by which the state later recovers some or all of the cost of providing free
legal counsel to an indigent defendant.
Divided into three: public defender systems, assigned counsel systems, and contract systems.
● Public defenders: 1913, law firms whose only clients are criminal offenders. Is a part of
the judicial, executive, independent state agency, or private nonprofit?
● Assigned council system: the use of private attorneys appointed by the court to represent
people. Reimbursed by the state for any legal services.
o In ad hoc the presiding judge appoints attorneys and inn a coordinated an
administrator oversees the appointment of counsel.
● Contract system a block grant is given to a lawyer or law firm to handle cases.
Contract system: provision of legal services to indigent defendants by private attorneys under
contract to the state or county.
● Mixed systems use both public and private defenders in an attempt to draw on strengths
The Private Bar
● A lawyer whose practice involves a substantial proportion of criminal cases is often
considered a specialist in the field. Private lawyers are usually paid in advance and do not
expect additional funds.
Public Versus Private Attorneys
● Conviction rates for indigent and those with their own lawyers are the same.