What do criminal lawyers do?

One of the jobs of lawyers is analyzing, researching and investigating a case and using the data collected from a trial to settle or negotiate a plea of the bargain for the defendant’s freedom. People who have been accused of committing crimes will have a criminal defense lawyer, also called criminal lawyers, to defend them. There’s a broad spectrum of cases that they work on, ranging from violent crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, driving under the influence (DUI), sex crimes, fraud, theft, and embezzlement.

Criminal Defense Lawyers are public defenders, and many of them are assigned by the court’s case; however, they can be contacted directly by the defendant.


We all know that studying to be a lawyer requires lots of patience and hard work. To be successful in this industry you need to have skills and assets which can be a great advantage for you in the long run. Public speaking skills are a must if you want to be a lawyer, but to succeed as a criminal defense lawyer you must possess a few other things.

  • Interpersonal Skills

A successful and effective lawyer has a strong relationship with the client. Building this connection requires excellent interpersonal skills. It is quite challenging on the defendant’s part to find a trustworthy and reliable lawyer. 

That’s why they go through many criminal defenders before choosing someone they’re comfortable to work with. Interpersonal skills are essential to thriving in criminal defense practice.

  • Investigative and Research Skills

Researching and investigating the case is necessary in building a strong defense.

  • Experience & Legal Knowledge

Experience is always important in whatever industry we are talking about. Simultaneously, it is efficient and competent to have an in-depth understanding of court procedures, state, federal, and local rules, evidentiary laws, and the criminal justice system.

  • Creative & Analytical Skills

To litigate complex cases, develop legal strategy, and analyze case laws you need ample creative thinking and analytical skills.

  • Writing & Speaking Skills

Last but certainly not least, writing and speaking skills are vital skills to have as a lawyer. They’ll be representing their clients in the trial court, persuading the jury, and using verbal skills to argue the defendant’s case based on the information they have. Just as important as speaking, writing skills are essential to being a successful lawyer.


Private lawyers get paid higher than most public defenders. Due to the referral process general criminal lawyers have a higher caseload and lower salary rates since they are paid by the public defender’s office and not from other clients.

Criminal lawyers’ salaries commonly range from $30,000 to $500,000 a year; of course, it usually varies on the scope of the firm’s experience, geographic location, and the clientele the firm serves. Defenders who represent wealthy and high-profile defendants tend to be the highest-paid lawyers. Experienced criminal attorneys who work in a law firm earn the highest salaries.


The criminal lawyer’s duties and responsibilities are many. They are very well trained to negotiate on behalf of their clients, including revocation hearings, trials, plea bargains, appeals, post-conviction remedies, and bail bond hearings. Part of their job also includes;

  • Filing to argue motions to dismiss, and suppress
  • Procedural law, statutes, crimes codes, and research case law
  • Plea bargain to negotiate to lesser charges
  • Investigate the case and interview witnesses
  • Argue appeals
  • Advocate for the defendant at trial

However, they can do a lot more than that if it will benefit the case and their client.


Some criminal lawyers work as public defenders for the government or non-profit agencies to maintain a local practice. For attorneys with a national convention, frequent travel is required. At the same time, most of them work in either solo firms or private law firms. They frequently meet with the clients outside of their offices in prisons, courthouses, hospitals, and other venues. Criminal attorneys often work irregular and long hours.

Criminal lawyers represent their clients in the court of justice and most of the time the trial takes a lot of time. It is also not a secret that working in this industry requires a lot of patience, hard work, as well as skills that will set them apart from other lawyers.