Legal terminology can be overwhelming and confusing for those not used to courtroom procedures or experienced with legal proceedings. One question many people have is whether there is a difference between a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney. Both types of lawyers work to protect their clients, but there are some crucial differences.
One of the critical distinguishing factors is that a prosecutor typically works for the government agency bringing criminal charges and must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while the defense attorney represents the person accused of a crime and attempts to maintain the client’s innocence.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need legal representation by an attorney with experience in dealing with prosecuting attorneys. Contact our law firm right away for talented and caring professionals who will protect your rights and seek out justice for you throughout your case.
What is a Prosecutor in a Court of Law?
The prosecutor in legal proceedings usually argues in favor of the government, either at the state or federal level. They seek to enforce the laws, finding justice through charging and successfully prosecuting the person accused of a crime.
The prosecutor may work with the defense lawyer to find a settlement or plea deal that satisfies the law with an admission of guilt, usually by offering a more minimal or even reduced sentence to the accused.
State prosecutors are the more commonly encountered kind, and work for your local state’s government. They prosecute crimes committed within their state’s borders, except those committed on federally-owned land. They are either appointed to office or elected by constituents, depending on the state.
Federal prosecutors handle criminal defense cases that cross state lines or occur on federally-owned land and can work in tandem with state prosecutors on the same case. Some examples include drug trafficking, kidnapping across state lines, cyber crimes, and many more.
Federal prosecutors generally have a more focused caseload and have access to greater resources than state prosecutors. Federal prosecutors are overseen and appointed by the United States Attorney General, who themselves are appointed by the President.
Regardless of what level of government they work for, a prosecutor’s ultimate responsibility is to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They do this by using intensive investigations, gathering solid evidence or proof of the alleged crime, and establishing a motive for the accused.
If successful, this will result in a conviction and then sentencing. When you are facing criminal charges, be they at the state or federal level, you have rights that must be protected. Reach out to our law firm for attorneys who will vigorously defend you.
What is a Defense Attorney?
Defense attorneys, on the other hand, represent the defendant, who is the person who has been accused of wrongdoing. It is their legal responsibility to call into question any evidence or posturing by the prosecution, as under United States Law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If there is even a small amount of doubt as to the culpability of the accused in the alleged crime, then a conviction and sentencing will be avoided.
In order for a defense attorney to be allowed to defend against federal charges, they must be admitted to practice law on a federal level. Most criminal defense lawyers are hired from a private practice by the defendant. If the person charged is unable to afford a private lawyer and can prove so in court, a judge can appoint to them a Public Defender, who will represent them without charge.
If the defendant cannot pay outright for a private lawyer but doesn’t qualify for cost-free representation, a judge can make a decision of “partial indignancy”, which means that part of the court costs accrued by the appointed Public Defender will be paid back.
This means regardless of your financial situation, you will always have access to a defense attorney when accused of a crime, either state or federal.
Defense attorneys can also help negotiate plea deals for their clients, possibly resulting in lighter sentences or even lesser charges. They are a vital component of the legal system and judicial systems of the United States of America and have helped defend the innocence and ensure justice for the accused nationwide.
Defense lawyers like those at our law firm listen carefully to their client’s stories and work tirelessly to uncover evidence showing the person does not deserve the full sentence. In fact, our defense attorneys may see their clients’ charges dismissed altogether. We know how to work with prosecuting attorneys and get the results you need while protecting your constitutional rights. Call today to see how a criminal defense attorney can help you!
Should You Hire Our Defense Attorneys?
If you are facing a criminal accusation, you may feel overwhelmed and worried about what the future holds. Our compassionate defense attorneys will listen carefully to your needs and goals and work with you to get the positive outcome you deserve.
We use our insight into how local prosecutors operate to get excellent results, which has led to an impressive and award-winning level of criminal defense service. We promise to stand by you throughout your legal proceedings as a strong criminal defense team in your corner.
Don’t go through the terrifying process of facing criminal charges alone. You can rely on our honest, knowledgeable, and professional attorneys for legal representation in Texas to meet the prosecution head-on and tirelessly fight for the justice you deserve. Reach out to our caring and competent legal team today by calling 713-766-3733 to schedule an appointment today.