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Summary: Learn what a criminal lawyer is and what they do in this article.
The presence and work of criminal lawyers in the United States differentiates our justice system from much of the rest of the world. We presume the innocence of the accused until proven guilty in a court of law, with adequate legal representation, and beyond a reasonable doubt.
Criminal lawyer positions are fiercely competed for at law firms, and a criminal lawyer remains a popular choice for those in the legal field. With an average salary of $78,500, pay ranges from $45,000 to $130,000, with private criminal lawyers making the least.
Often criminal lawyers begin as junior associates at a law firm, a prosecutor, or a public defender, but work their way up to become a senior associate and ultimately, as a partner at the firm.
Other career paths include working for a district attorney, working for the government and prosecuting cases on behalf of the state. Finally, non-profit organizations also hire criminal lawyers to represent people who can’t afford a lawyer on their own.
Ultimately, criminal lawyers busy themselves gathering evidence from police reports and eyewitness testimonies to develop a defense for their client. In this regard, they work with paralegals, private investigators, litigation consultants, and others to defend the rights of their client. They will try their best to settle the case outside of court, but sometimes this isn’t possible, and a trial must be arranged.