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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.