In the United States, there are over 800,000 lawyers practicing law in all 50 states.
These individuals all work on various parts of the law, with many specializing in specific areas. Attorneys sometimes focus on becoming trial lawyers, environmental lawyers, corporate lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and the list goes on. Defense attorney vs prosecutor is central to trail law, so let’s take a look at these two aspects.
What makes a defense attorney different from a prosecutor?
Becoming a Lawyer
Becoming a lawyer isn’t easy, it requires extensive schooling and graduate work. The law is a vast field of study, no one can know all aspects of the law. For those who want to start trying criminal cases, there are only two options, to become a defense attorney or a prosecutor.
Whether a defense lawyer or a prosecutor, the schooling is the same. They will first get a four-year degree and then apply for and attend a law school. Once they graduate from that, they will take an examination known as the Bar exam, which they have to pass to begin practicing law.
How to Become a Defense Attorney
This entire process can take years, with many candidates not passing their first test. Even those who pass don’t often go straight into being a trial lawyer. They spend time working as junior members of a firm, gathering valuable experience and additional training.
It is once they begin to practice law that their journeys start to separate. Keep in mind, many prosecutors were defense lawyers before they became prosecutors and the same is true in reverse.
Being successful as a defense attorney is more difficult than being a successful prosecutor. This is because to be a successful defense attorney you have to be the best lawyer you can be. You are always working with fewer resources and won’t get clients if you aren’t successful.
How to Become a Prosecutor
If a defense attorney wants to become a prosecutor they have to seek employment with the state or federal government. Defense attorneys work for themselves or firms, but prosecutors work for the government. This is the main difference in how they operate, one side representing citizens, and the other the government.
Like defense attorneys, those who want to become prosecutors often engage in internships or work as junior members of their office. This gives them the time they need to develop the skills that will make them good prosecutors, understanding trial law and how to apply it.
The field of prosecutors is competitive, so many do not get a job right away, but instead have to build up experience. The best way to build up this experience is to be a defense attorney or to work as a clerk or other official in the court itself.
While it can be difficult to become a prosecutor, it is stable and many become career prosecutors. Prosecutors, like defense attorneys, succeed or fail based on their success rate. If a prosecutor doesn’t win cases, they can expect to not be a prosecutor for long.
There is another way to become a prosecutor, and that is through an election or appointment. Often these individuals have powerful connections to the local government or state offices and are able to run for the position. In this case, even inexperienced lawyers can become prosecutors.
Those who are in Federal court are appointed by the President and then hire teams of lawyers to act as assistants and seconds. By the number of practicing attorneys, very few become involved as Federal Prosecutors. These positions have both political and legal powers beyond that of normal attorneys.
Defense Attorney vs Prosecutor
When in a trial, the defense attorney and the prosecutor are opposite of each other. One represents the accused and the other presents the case against them. The prosecutor, in this case, is representing the state or the “people of the state” in question.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys both work to solve the judicial question of guilt and innocence. Both present evidence and arguments for and against the accused. This process works so that the jury can have all relevant information and make an informed decision.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors will both work in the sentencing stage of the trial as well. If a defendant is guilty of a crime, the defense attorney will work to mitigate the sentence while the prosecutor can present evidence to increase the time the defendant will spend in jail.
Defense attorneys continue to work with their client’s case, often helping them through the appeal process. This process can continue for a long time, depending on the case and the charge. Prosecutors can also be involved in this process, trying to prevent an appeal from being successful.
When it comes down to a defense attorney vs prosecutor, there are other differences. One major difference is that defense attorneys may specialize in particular cases or types of offenses. A prosecutor will deal with any crime or charge that they are assigned to.
This does mean that you can find a defense attorney for almost any specific charge. You can also find those who can help specific types of defendants. For instance, a criminal lawyer Hispanic Latino Immigrants is someone who specializes in helping a certain group of people.
The Lawyer You Need
When you consider the differences and look at it as defense attorney vs prosecutor, you’re seeing a very ancient legal tradition. This concept has been for centuries in order to ensure the fairest and most complete trial possible. The American legal system is built on this order.
If you need a lawyer, make sure you find the defense attorney that will work best with you. While it is best to avoid legal trouble, it isn’t possible and most people will at some point need legal services. If this article has been helpful or informative for you, please take a moment and check over our website.