When a criminal defense attorney first opens his practice, he may choose to develop a niche in a certain area of criminal law. Between felonies and misdemeanors there are a number of crimes in which a new lawyer may specialize. If the accused individual has the means to hire a lawyer, he will most likely choose one who often successfully represents others who have been accused of the same or a similar crime.
The most well-known crimes - the ones that end up on police shows and detective stories - are those involving violent crimes. Violent crimes encompass crimes that purposefully bring harm to others: armed robbery, arson, assault and battery, carjacking, homicide, and kidnapping, to name just a few examples. These crimes are considered felonies are punished most often with a long prison sentence. Since he may spend half his life behind bars, an individual being accused of a violent crime will should definitely hire an attorney who has already successfully handled cases involving similar felonies.
Capital offenses comprise another relatively familiar category introduced to us through both real life and fictional accounts of police investigations. Those being accused of these crimes usually face the death sentence. The defendant will definitely want to hire a criminal defense attorney Tommy Hindman Knoxville TN who has a thorough understanding of the complexities of constitutional issues, forensic evidence and the appeal process. At least there will be hope of decreasing a death sentence to a prison life sentence.
White collar crimes are non-violent crimes like fraud, insider-trading or embezzlement. These crimes have their own complex issues that are different from violent or capital crimes. A lawyer who's familiar with proving "absence of intent" (the defendant didn't intentionally commit the crime) or "entrapment" (the defendant was lured or forced to commit the crime by an employer or other individual), will be the best choice for the defendant since he will understand the laws specifically related to these types of non-violent crimes.
Unfortunately driving under the influence violations are common enough for a criminal defense attorney find a niche. A DUI charge accuses an individual of driving while under the influence of alcohol and putting other drivers in danger by their erratic driving. A lawyer who specializes in DUI cases studies the possible inaccuracies of breathalyzers and other tests used by the police to diagnose a DUI driver. They are familiar with common ways to either dismiss the case or reduce the accused individual's sentence.
Finally, some attorneys decide to work for the government as a public defender. They represent those who don't have the funds to hire their own criminal defense attorney. Public defenders don't always have the freedom to choose their clients, so their area of expertise may or may not be used in each case. A public defender is often assigned too many cases at once, so it may be hard to study the specific laws related to their client's crimes. A broad knowledge of criminal law will definitely be helpful!
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