Career

Criminal Lawyer

Criminal lawyers either represent the government, prosecuting criminal cases or represent the accused, defending them against prosecution. This distinction obviously dictates the tasks, working conditions and remuneration of the criminal lawyer. Those working for the prosecution build a case against a defendant though liaison with police, analysis of evidence and organisation of witnesses. They then either present this evidence in court or provide instruction to a prosecutor in order for them to carry out this task.

Those lawyers who represent individuals charged with criminal offences either work on a commercial basis, charging for their services or for a legal aid organisation, which is usually funded by the government (for more information see the entry for Legal Aid Lawyer). Providing defence involves again analysing evidence and liaising with police but also discussing with the defendant their options and possible consequences while building the best possible case in defence which is then presented in court. Other tasks include the filing of legal documents and presentation of bail applications and pleas. Accreditation to work in criminal law differs between states in Australia. In all states, this profession is highly regulated and professionals in this field are expected to maintain high legal and ethical standards.