The field of law is a complex one. From filing a patent to pursuing challenging cases, lawyers often face a myriad of struggles in their daily life. But these struggles intensify for criminal defense attorneys. While there are civil defense attorneys, criminal defense attorneys’ works are quite different and distinct from other legal practitioners.
Let’s glance over five struggles that a criminal defense attorney regularly faces, making their job a lot harder than it already is!
- Ethical Dilemmas
Despite choosing to specialize in defending suspected criminals, defense attorneys do not have it easy when it comes to silencing the ever-present voice of morals and ethics in their heads. Even though they know their job demands that they separate their personal beliefs and emotions from their work, the task is almost always an on-going and consuming one.
Especially when their client has committed a heinous crime, criminal defense attorneys must always keep their sentiments in check to ensure that their case or the client does not suffer the menaces of unconscious bias.
- Negative Perception and Mass Hate
The law guarantees every party involved an equal right to representation, legal remedy, and fair trial. But in the perception of the masses, criminal defense attorneys are often viewed as morally corrupt people who defend the rights of societal villains. They are chastised continuously by family, friends, and strangers alike. In some high-profile or widely known cases, they can also be on the receiving end of mass outrage, hate mails, comments, and other adverse reactions.
- It is a High-Stakes Game
Criminal defense attorney already tread on a thin rope when they represent someone accused of a crime. The challenge further escalates when the case is a high-profile one or involves any political or social influence. In such cases, it becomes an ‘everything or nothing’ ground that consists of a lot of hazard, intimidation, and thrill.
- Public Reactions are Very Influential
Criminal cases can often garner local and national spotlight, and even more so in our rapid communication age. Public reactions cause a stir and can influence the proceedings and judgment of a case as the presiding jury may regard the masses’ response as they examine cases. This can make an already challenging task even more strenuous for a criminal defense attorney.
- Clients Can Self-Sabotage the Case
Recall how lawyer characters in films and shows are always warning their client against talking to anyone about the case without their presence? This warning is probably the most crucial defense attorneys impart to their clients and the one that is often overlooked.
Despite the hardships and the daily juggle between upholding the law, ubiquitous ethics, and negative perceptions, criminal defense attorneys manage to balance it all somehow. By representing accused persons, they ensure that the law’s enforcement remains balanced, and no one is denied their own constitutional right to a fair trial and justice despite their actions. It is a thankless job, but an essential one all the same.