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legal icon Criminal Lawyers

A criminal defense lawyer defends a criminal defendant against criminal charges, ranging from a simple misdemeanor such as a parking ticket all the way up to first-degree murder.  A criminal defense attorney must understand the different levels of crimes: That some are felonies and some are misdemeanors, and that there are different degrees of crimes which carry different levels of punishment.  Criminal law is different from civil law: In civil law, a jury need only be unanimous in finding a preponderance of evidence that favors either side, plaintiff or defendant – a proverbial “fifty percent, plus one” will suffice; whereas, in criminal law, an entire jury must agree that the prosecution has proven its case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Thus a criminal defense attorney should try to prove that his client is innocent, but need only show that the prosecution’s case cannot be proven, by throwing the evidence, including the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses, into doubt.


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