Useful Terms to Know When Dealing with a Criminal Lawyer

When you find yourself in a legal situation of a criminal nature, it is useful to know some terminology and how things work to make communication with a criminal lawyer more meaningful.

However, a nyc criminal lawyer will talk things through with their clients in order to help them understand the process, as well as helping to reduce their stress levels at the same time too. An arrest is upsetting enough without having to worry about the legal processes.

To help further, this article will define and talk about some of the terminology involved in criminal proceedings to help you understand more of it and to put into context what a criminal lawyer is describing.


Parties Involved

In law, it is about opposite sides. One is trying to prove a defendant guilty and the other that they are innocent. Although, it is never that straightforward because a guilty plea can be entered at any stage to reduce the ultimate sentence given.

So, we have the prosecutor versus the defendant. The prosecutor is the equivalent of the plaintiff in a civil case. A prosecutor is a person that will initiate a lawsuit against another. In criminal law, the prosecutor is the states’ district attorney. The defendant is the person that the lawsuit is against.

An individual might be accused of assault or fraud and it is for the criminal lawyer they hire to take their side and help them prove their innocence or to lessen their guilt by way of mitigation. You can go here for more information about defense lawyers.

These are explanations and reasons put forward after guilt has been determined that will help to lessen a sentence. Anything premeditated attracts a higher sentence and will mean that the criminal lawyer has to work harder.


Types of Testimony

A deposition is a term for a statement under oath that is taken down in writing with the intention that it will be used in court in place of a testimony that is spoken by a witness.

The types of witnesses that you can get include eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, character witnesses, and reliability of witness accounts. An expert witness is defined as a person who possesses specialist knowledge or has a skill in a particular field.

They are useful to include in a court case because the testimony is more reliable and well-informed. It is much more likely to be taken notice of by a jury. An example of an expert witness might be the person who analyses blood splatter and so can testify as to what weapon was used to commit murder.

Then, it is for the prosecution to link the accused to that weapon for a strong case. The criminal lawyer will be trying to prove that the accused never possessed or used it.


Legal Processes

The federal criminal process consists of eleven steps. These include the investigation, charging the accused, the initial hearing or arraignment, discovery, plea bargaining, preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, the trial, post-trial motions, sentencing, and an appeal if the person convicted is still declaring their innocence.

The legal process is a long one and those who are accused of a crime should prepare for that. They should use the time to prepare those they are leaving behind for a while if they think a prison sentence is likely. A criminal lawyer will advise if this is a possibility and will always be realistic about it.

Discovery is the time during legal proceedings when parties gather information and facts about the other party to build a case.

Plea bargaining is an arrangement that is made between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant will plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for them receiving a more lenient sentence. Sometimes it can mean other charges being dropped.

Where there is guilt that is difficult to disprove, this will be an option to make the best of the bad situation an accused has created for themselves by committing the crime for which they have been found out.

So, a few terms to mull over here if you are involved in a legal case because you are the accused or are a family member wanting to know more about what is happening and what it all means.

There has been a call for the legal vocabulary to be simplified or standardized but the legal system is long-established with its terminology and only tends to change in terms of the new laws that are introduced to keep up with the technological changes in society.

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