The majority of people will not consider the different roles in which a criminal lawyer can be utilized until they need the services of one. In fact, criminal law is a huge and complex area of the law; it would simply not be possible for one person to become an expert in every aspect of criminal law. This is why it is exceptionally important to familiarize yourself with the options available and; should you ever need a criminal lawyer, be able to pick the best one for your defense.
The following guide will highlight the different types of criminal lawyer. You will find that many of the larger law firms, such as Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, have specialists in many of the different types of criminal law. Smaller firms are likely to specialize in just one area of the law.
The first distinction is to understand the difference between a misdemeanors and felonies. Both of these come under the broader description of criminal acts. A criminal act is any activity which is deemed to be forbidden by the government of a particular country; these are acts which will affect other people as opposed to your civil rights which are covered by civil law. Breaking the criminal law can result in a prison sentence; this is not the case in civil laws which deal with legal disputes.
Misdemeanors are considered to be minor matters which result in very little harm to others; this includes assaults and traffic offenses.
A felony is considered to be a more serious matter. It deals with violent crimes including rape. This type of crime carries a much heavier penalty.
Criminal lawyers will further differentiate these crimes by the following categories:
These are crimes which have been committed in more than one state and, as such, will be tried by the federal system and not the local authority. The same type of system is used in most countries. Federal authorities typically have more funds and time available to build a case and, as such, you will need an experienced and qualified criminal lawyer to ensure you are fairly represented.
These are the crimes which happen within one state and, although they can be as serious as a federal crime; they are dealt with by the state.
In general a criminal lawyer will specialize in this type of crime as these are very serious crimes and a conviction will affect your future in a huge number of ways. This includes the ability to live and work in certain industries or areas. It is possible to be accused of this type of crime when acting in self defense or even when a prosecutor goes over the top with a simple brawl.
The number of drug related offenses is on the increase although many are small scale affairs. However, if you have been accused of a drug crime it is best to have a specialist who understands the reasons and implications behind your actions and can work within the system to exonerate you.
Most traffic offenses are treated as minor crimes but drink driving can result in imprisonment and the loss of your livelihood. It is essential to consult with an expert in this area of the law to ensure you have the best possible chance of moving on from a mistake.