There are many reasons why people pursue a career in the legal sector. Whether it be family, the influence of friends, an ingrained desire, academic proficiencies or because you watched “Suits”, you should recognize that being a solicitor, like any profession, has its ups and downs. First and foremost, you shouldn’t base your career decision solely on a television show or something you heard from a friend. You want to make sure that you’re getting as much information as possible, enabling you to make a more informed decision. If you’re still a little unsure, then do not fret, for this article will provide a brief overview of what criminal lawyers in Melbourne do daily.
Protect your rights
If you have been charged with a serious offense, then your solicitor is responsible for defending your legal rights in court. For criminal lawyers in Melbourne, this is the crux of what they do. Once you hire a prospective solicitor, they will ensure that your legal rights are upheld, guaranteeing your legal right to a fair trial. This involves building a case and presenting that to a jury. As long as you have legal representation, your rights will be protected.
Handle your plea
Criminal lawyers in Melbourne will also handle your plea, which is generally either “guilty” or “not guilty”. In some cases, the defendant might plead insanity, based on mental health problems – suggesting they lacked the mental faculty to understand their crime. Pleading guilty generally results in a more lenient punishment, since such a plea is viewed as being helpful to the state. Once a “guilty” plea has been entered, the remainder of the trial is devoted to configuring a sentence.
On the other hand, pleading “not guilty” triggers a trial, in which a jury must find a defendant innocent or guilty of the alleged crime(s). In most Australian states, majority verdicts are allowed (meaning it doesn’t need to be unanimous). Only the ACT requires unanimous verdicts. A “hung” jury is a situation in which the jury cannot reach a majority or verdict after extended deliberation and discussions.
Organise plea bargains
In the same vein, criminal lawyers in Melbourne can assist you with your plea bargains. Plea bargaining is the process in which the prosecution and the defence organise a reduced sentence/punishment, permitting the defendant pleads guilty to the offence. For individuals facing hefty prison time (and not much of a defence), this option might be their only option at not spending their life behind bars.
Present evidence to support your case
Furthermore, criminal lawyers in Melbourne are not strictly responsible for finding new evidence (albeit, this is something they often do); however, they are required to present evidence that supports your case. To provide their client with the best possible defence, criminal lawyers in Melbourne need to convince the jury that there is a sense of “reasonable doubt” as to whether the defendant could have committed the crime. Any sense of doubt is meant to trigger a “not guilty” verdict.
Negotiate with the opposing side
Finally, criminal lawyers in Melbourne are tasked with negotiating with the opposing side – the prosecution. As outlined earlier, your solicitor should be communicating with the opposite side to either leverage a deal or have the case thrown out. If the trial reaches a point where the outcome appears inevitable, a mistrial can be called, or both parties can settle to expedite the proceedings. Either way, if you are in a situation like this, you must do everything you can to get the best criminal lawyers in Melbourne assisting with your case.