What Should I Expect from a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A criminal lawyer has unique skill sets to investigate a crime and gather evidence to help a defendant win a case. The lawyer can come up with compelling arguments to lessen and negate the criminal charges. The lawyer can also present evidence-supported facts and arguments that will convince the judge to lower the jail time and fines.

Day-to-day Responsibilities of a Criminal Lawyer

  • Calling, emailing, or meeting with clients in person
  • Reading statutes and case documents
  • Researching ongoing cases and reviewing evidence
  • Formulating robust defense strategies

These daily activities are an important part of building a strong case. Criminal lawyers usually take time to prepare for the case and to prepare the defendant for arraignment. This in-depth preparation enables them to avoid surprises during court sessions.

Additional Responsibilities of a Criminal Lawyer

After thoroughly researching the case and developing a defense strategy, the criminal lawyer has many duties. During the trial, the lawyer calls witnesses in the accused person’s defense and cross-questions the witnesses’ testimony.

Specialties of a Criminal Lawyer

Plea Bargain

A criminal lawyer can also negotiate a plea bargain on the defendant’s behalf. This bargaining chip aids in reducing the potential sentences imposed on the defendant. In some instances, it gets rid of a portion of the charges leveled against the defendant. Prosecutors rarely enter into plea bargain negotiations with defendants who don’t have a lawyer.

Predicting Case Outcomes

A lawyer has the knowledge and training to offer a defendant a reality check. The defense lawyer understands what’s happening during a criminal trial much better than the defendant. As such, the lawyer can predict the direction a case is going to take and the verdict the judge or jury is likely to give. These predictions and reality checks can help a criminal defendant who is considering a prosecutor’s plea bargain make an informed decision.


The best criminal defense lawyer is responsible for negotiating the imposed sentence. The lawyer deliberates with the prosecution and the judge to find ways of commuting the sentence. The lawyer can, for instance, suggest a sentence that will save the defendant from spending the entire year in jail for a drug possession conviction. If approved, the guilty defendant may get six months in rehab and only six months in prison. The lawyer will argue that this sentencing arrangement is a win-win for both the state and the defendant.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.