Defense lawyer

Anyone who is a defendant in criminal proceedings is entitled to have a lawyer to represent his or her case. The laws establish a long list of cases where participation of a defense lawyer is mandatory, in these instances a case cannot proceed without him or her. Pre-trial investigation officers, prosecutors, and judges can also decide that participation of a defense lawyer is mandatory in any other case also. Practically, pre-trial investigations and trials without a defense lawyer are rare exemptions from the rule. A defendant can even hire several defense lawyers to represent his or her interests. If a suspect or defendant do not contract a defense lawyer himself or herself, they can apply for free legal aid, and it shall be provided without considering whether he or she has enough funds to hire a defense lawyer themselves.

The defense lawyer takes an active role both during pre-trial investigation and trial.

Defense lawyers have a right to submit evidence or to request that certain evidence be gathered, to question the defendant, the witnesses, and the injured party (victim) during court hearings, to lodge an appeal against decisions with which he or she does not agree, and certain other rights. The injured party may feel uncomfortable about some of the defense lawyer’s questions if he or she thinks that what he or she went through is being challenged. Don’t forget that it is the duty of the defense lawyer to protect the defendant’s interests, and usually his or her questions do not represent any personal attitude of his or her towards you. If any question goes beyond what is acceptable, it is for the judge to interrupt and maintain the order and discipline at the trial.

I was a victim of crime: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of crime Criminal proceedings Who’s who in criminal proceedings


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