The Role of the Defense Attorney

Defense attorneys operate in a very deliberate way. They are tasked with listening to clients, taking their versions of the truth to a courtroom, and challenging and weakening the prosecution’s evidence.

Some defense attorneys prefer to know the absolute truth of the matter, regardless of whether that means the client admits his guilt to his lawyer. Other attorneys do not want to know if the client is guilty. Either way, lawyers are bound by their ethics and are required to present facts which they know are true, the defense that is in the best interest of the client, and aid on his behalf in absolute good faith.

Because of these codes, a defense attorney must stack two sides of evidence. First, they must anticipate each argument the prosecutor may bring to trial. A good defense attorney will get the facts of the case from her client, research relevant case law and statutes, and prepare to diminish the prosecutor’s evidence.

Next, an attorney must also prepare evidence for the defense, including any document that serves as an alibi to the even, witness statements, or correspondence that shows the client did not commit the crime in the way he is being charged.

A defense attorney must remain objective and ensure the prosecution meets its burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of the client’s guilt in the matter, the defense attorney’s role is to uphold the constitutional right of the defendant to counsel and a fair trial.

Defense attorneys work out deals for the betterment of the client, as well. Sometimes, the client will be asked to plead to a lesser charge to resolve the matter without a trial. Other times, the client will be asked to admit to some charges in return for the dismissal of others. These are all negotiations taking place between the lawyers for both parties, with the ultimate decision being left to the client.

In the end, a defense attorney is a representative of the defendant. She is not there to challenge the client’s version of the story or make sure a criminal get sentenced to prison. Rather, she is there to ensure the court holds up its end of the bargain according to the constitution, and gives her a client a fair trial in which he is innocent until the prosecution can prove he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at

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