Criminal Law is the branch of law that concerns crimes and punishments. A lawyer of criminal justice provides legal representation to individuals or groups that have been accused of committing a crime. A personal defense lawyer may also specialize in different crimes, such as capital offenses, federal offenses, violent crime, drug charges, white-collar crime, theft, or burglary charges.
Different courts require specific educational requirements to be a defense attorney. The lowest level courts usually only require an undergraduate degree, while higher-level courts typically require a criminal attorney to hold a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school.
There are several other issues lawyers that law in criminal practice is involved with outside the courtroom practices, including public speaking engagements on upcoming cases and working with non-profit organizations to educate the public about various types of crimes. Generally, there are two types of lawyers in criminal law: the criminal attorney and the prosecutor.
Prosecuting attorneys represent relevant parties in legal proceedings, including states or government agencies, against individuals accused of breaking the law. If a person is found guilty of breaking the law, prosecuting attorneys may also try to determine what kind of penalty should be applied based on what the legal experts learned during investigation and trial procedures.
Criminal Law prohibits citizens from harming other citizens or society as a whole. It also seeks to provide restitution to victims by punishing people convicted of wrongdoing.
There are a variety of situations where someone may commit a crime that leads to their facing a criminal investigation and potential criminal charges. This includes being the cause of a motor vehicle accident where someone sustains an injury or suffers a wrongful death. Many of these accidents are caused by someone driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Other accidents may be caused when drivers are distracted by device manipulation rather than paying attention to operating their vehicle.
A Brief Overview of 2014 Motor Vehicle Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 6,400 people were injured per day during 2014. Another 90 lost their lives on a daily basis. Due to being involved in motor vehicle crashes, a total of 32,675 people died. This was, however, a slight decrease from 2013, when there were 32,894 fatalities.
A Brief Overview of Drunk Driving
Statistics show that someone is injured in a crash that involves a drunk driver every two minutes. Prior to being arrested for the first time, the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times. While less than 4,000 drunk drivers are arrested a day, it’s been determined that approximately 300,000 individuals are operating their vehicles while under the influence or intoxicated.
A Brief Overview of Distracted Driving
Despite the safety hazards that these behaviors pose, roughly 660,000 drivers engage in other activities while operating their vehicle. This includes making or responding to cell phone calls as well as texting. Distracted drivers have also been known to manipulate other types of hand-held electronic devices. When drivers engage in these and other risky behaviors, they are three times more likely to be in a crash.
Constitutional Amendments Which Apply to Criminal Defendants
When someone has been accused of a crime, there are three Constitutional Amendments that are important to know. These Amendments outline an individual’s specific rights when they are participating in a hearing and/or trial.
The Fifth Amendment contains the following provisions for criminal defendants:
- The right to remain silent
- The right not to be prosecuted for the same crime twice
The Sixth Amendment contains the following provisions for criminal defendants:
- The right to legal representation
- The right to a speedy trial
- The right to confront witnesses
The Eighth Amendment contains the following provisions for criminal defendants:
- The right to reasonable bail
- The right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment
When to Consult With an Attorney
Have you been charged with a crime? When you are facing a criminal investigation, the best course of action is to consult with a defense attorney. This is because criminal defense lawyers have experience within this area of the law. When you are facing a criminal investigation, an attorney will be able to conduct further research on your behalf. Furthermore, depending on the nature of your case, an attorney will provide you with legal counsel and discuss your criminal defense options.