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 defense 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.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.