You must have seen criminal defense lawyers in the television many a time while watching the lawyer and cop kind of shows, and surely must have found their role very interesting. In real life such lawyers are always busy, as some one or the other is in need of their help. Criminal lawyers have the responsibility of defending individuals, entities and organizations that have fallen within the grasp of criminal law cases. The various cases they have to fight include sex crimes, domestic violence crimes, drug crimes, theft and so on. The job of a criminal defense lawyer is very interesting, and this is the reason why more and more students study criminal law. Below are mentioned all that you need to know about a criminal lawyer.

Educational requirements

To become a criminal defense lawyer and to fight criminal law cases one first needs to complete seven years of education. The undergraduate level needs four years to get completed. The particular bachelor's degree that an aspiring candidate earns is not that important, more importance should be given to maintaining proper grades, and developing communication, investigative, research and analysis skills. After graduating, an aspiring student needs to apply to a law school by first clearing the Law School Admission Test. After completing the three years education of criminal defence law specialization the student gets a J.D. degree.

Job description

A criminal defence lawyer, while fighting a criminal law case, becomes the ears, mouth and brain of his client. He needs to speak on behalf of his client who has been accused of doing a crime. Giving importance to his client's legal rights, he puts in every possible effort to reduce the charges that his client has been blamed with. Before the court proceedings begin, the client meets the criminal defence lawyer to discuss the case with him. The lawyer then starts collecting all required data and goes through the case properly.

To collect data he may take information from detectives, police officers, case witnesses and others related to the case and crime. He needs to guide the accuser with how he should answer the prosecutor officer, police department and other federal authority while interrogation. The lawyer properly researches and investigates on all the positive and negative possibilities in the particular case. He needs to hold interviews with the various witnesses. It is also his responsibility to perform the various legal formalities for his client. He needs to keep guiding his client during the parole and probation period. While in the court it is his task to summarize the whole case to the jury.


The criminal defence lawyer draws his salary depending on the crime he is defending. The average salary could be from $45,000 to $150,000 per year, and with addition of some perks it could go as high as $175,000 per year. Depending on the crime for which he is fighting, most criminal lawyers generally charge a flat fee. If the lawyer is fighting a white-collar crime he will earn more compared to when fighting a DUI case. Salaries can also vary depending on where the lawyer is employed. This refers to city or state employment and also on the firm where he works. A criminal lawyer will earn more if working for a private firm compared to those working as public defenders. Anyhow, the salary of criminal defence lawyer is very good. With experience, one can expect to draw an even better salary.

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Davis is experienced journalist and marketing specialist from Australia. She has been writing and giving advice about business, finance, law and other topics on blogs across the Internet. Currently working for several big financial houses as a marketing consultant.