A criminal lawyer is an attorney who defends people who have been charged with a crime. They work to ensure that the accused are treated fairly in court and have a chance at receiving a fair trial. They also help protect individuals’ rights by ensuring that police officers follow proper procedure when investigating crimes.

Those who want to become a criminal lawyer must complete a law degree program. This typically involves earning a Juris Doctor, or JD. While some students attend law school with a specific goal in mind, many discover new interests through their coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Criminal law courses are often the first to inspire this discovery, as they give students a glimpse into the realities of criminal justice from an in-depth perspective.

After completing their JD, most criminal lawyers choose to specialize in particular areas of the law. For example, some may focus on white collar crimes or homicide cases. Others may choose to represent juveniles in criminal cases. No matter what area they decide to focus on, a criminal lawyer must be familiar with the laws and procedures of each specific court. This is because each court has its own set of rules that can vary from one another.

It is also a criminal lawyer’s job to gather evidence and develop an effective defense strategy for their client. This can include developing a counterargument to the prosecution’s claims, such as highlighting any weaknesses in their case or creating reasonable doubt about what actually took place. They may also need to find and hire investigators or expert witnesses.

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