Some lawyers specialize in a particular type of crime, while others handle a variety of criminal charges. Most criminal defense lawyers will take cases that fall under one of the categories below.
Assault and Battery Cases
Assault and battery are two separate crimes. An assault is when someone causes someone reasonable fear of imminent harm, and the battery is the actual harm.
Assault and battery are among the most common crimes charged around the country. Most criminal defense lawyers handle assault cases. There are many different forms of assault and battery, including:
- Simple assault and battery
- Aggravated assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Assault with the intent to commit a felony
- Verbal assault
Depending on the type of assault, it may be a felony or misdemeanor charge, and the person might face other related charges.
Domestic Violence Cases
More than 10 million people experience domestic violence every year. Domestic violence is an intimate partner’s physical, emotional, or financial abuse. The relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim defines these cases.
Domestic violence cases can include domestic assault and battery, rape, incest, kidnapping, and other types of charges. These charges are severe. If convicted, a person may face significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and the loss of certain rights, like owning a firearm.
Millions of Americans are arrested every year for drug crimes. Some drug crimes are severe and carry significant jail time, while others are less serious and may result in a deferred disposition.
Most drug crimes fall into one of these categories of charges:
- Simple possession of a controlled substance
- Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Illegal manufacturing of a controlled substance
- Drug trafficking
Most states have different penalties depending on the category of the drug. For example, possession of marijuana may be a minor offense or even decriminalized, while possession of heroin might be a felony.
Sex crimes are very serious. Depending on the type of crime and the state, a conviction can result in decades in prison or even a life sentence. Further, many people convicted of sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their life.
Sex offenses are a broad category of crime that includes charges like:
- Sexual assault and battery
- Indecent exposure
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Solicitation of a minor
While many criminal defense lawyers handle sex crimes, not all do.
In most states, juvenile crimes are handled differently than adult crimes. There is a separate court, procedure, and type of punishment that applies. Some lawyers specialize in helping children who are charged with crimes. In fact, in some states, you need to have a designation and particular training to practice in juvenile court.
Juvenile court is different from adult court, but juveniles can be charged with almost any crime that an adult is charged with. This includes drug offenses, assault, sex offenses, and even murder. Depending on the rules of the state, an older child may be transferred to adult court and charged as an adult if the crime is severe enough.
Homicides are complex cases, and while many lawyers handle them, you’ll want someone who has a lot of experience. That’s because if you are convicted of homicide, you may spend the rest of your life in jail or even get the death penalty.
In most states, there are different types of homicide, including:
- Premeditated murder
- Capital murder
- Felony murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
Manslaughter is less severe than murder because it is unintentional. Nonetheless, it can still result in a decades-long sentence.
How To Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer
Not all lawyers handle criminal cases. Not all criminal defense lawyers have the same qualifications and experience. You want to make sure your attorney has the skills, background, and pedigree to handle your case. For example if you’ve been charged for domestic violence in a city in California like San Diego. Is absolutely essential to hire an experienced San Diego domestic violence attorney to protect your rights and your future. After all, your freedom and reputation may be on the line.
Legal directories offer one of the best ways to find a qualified criminal defense lawyer near you. Rating services like Avvo rate lawyers from 1.0-10.0 based on their skills, experience, success, and reputation in the legal community. A score of 6.0 or higher is considered a good rating.
You should consider looking for lawyers with 10.0 superb ratings like San Diego criminal defense lawyer, Peter Blair. Peter has earned awards from Avvo, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and Super Lawyers, to name a few. He takes pride in these recognitions but is even more proud of what they represent — that he’s achieved favorable outcomes for his criminal defense clients.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Serve a Critical Role
A key component of our criminal justice system is that everyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Although some types of acts are reprehensible and perhaps warrant punishment, it is also true that each person ought to have a legal advocate to put forth a meaningful defense. In that sense, criminal defense attorneys are vital to the functioning of today’s society.