Working as a criminal defense lawyer constitutes one of the toughest functions of attorneyship. A criminal defense attorney deals with the most delicate challenges of a society considering both the freedom of individuals and the rights of victims. In fact, a criminal defense lawyer tries to defense the rights of his clients like every lawyer. However, the function of defensing undertaken by a criminal defense lawyer is a bit different from the others. A criminal defense attorney performs his job directly on the issues related with the freedom of individuals.
A criminal defense lawyer is called as a defender while advocating the suspect or defendant based on such function of defensing. The defender means someone protecting, defensing and advocating others. In criminal justice, this word is used to define the attorney advocating the suspect or defendant, protecting their rights and representing them during proceedings.
Is there a separate profession of attorneyship called criminal defense attorney?
The profession of attorneyship is currently being separated into branches all over the world. Most of the countries support the separation of branches in order to increase professional expertise. However, in Turkey, the profession of attorneyship does not include any separate working field as criminal defense attorney. In accordance with the Law of Attorneyship No. 1136, lawyers may advocate their clients freely in any case. Therefore, there is not a separation of branches in Turkey. Lawyers following up criminal cases, advocating the suspects during investigations, representing the plaintiff or victim; that’s engaged in the issues related with criminal law and performing the function of defensing are colloquially called as criminal defense lawyers.
Does the legislation include a definition as “Serious Crimes Attorney?”
The term “serious crimes attorney” may be the most frequently used phase by the people. The legislation does not include any definition as serious crimes attorney. As we have previously mentioned, the lawyers are entitled to follow up any cases in Turkey. Since the cases on serious crimes constitute the most important part of the criminal law, the lawyers following up such cases are called as “serious crimes attorneys” in practice.
Although the profession of attorneyship starts to expertise like the other professions, there has not been any amendment in the legislation to mention about this term used colloquially. Therefore, the term “criminal defense lawyer” started to be used in the courthouses. In fact, the lawyers called as “criminal defense lawyers” follow up any cases before the Courts. For instance, a defendant who is on trial before the Criminal Court of First Instance often declares "I am looking for a criminal defense lawyer”. Hence, it is clear that the term “criminal defense lawyer” is used for all lawyers following up criminal cases.
Is It Possible for a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Make a Statement on Behalf of the Defendant?
A lawyer is only a legal representative of a defendant. He advocates his client before the Court only on legal aspects. He cannot replace his defendant and explain what happened. The person on trial will tell about the events and give information himself. The criminal procedure is the act of re-animating the event by the help of evidence. As a matter of course, only those who have experienced the event can tell how it happened. The criminal defense lawyers may submit evidence on behalf of his clients, evaluate this evidence, may raise the necessary objections and ask questions to other people participating in the trials other than witnesses, plaintiffs and judicial authority to reveal the case and advocate the client
How Many People Can a Serious Crimes Attorney Advocate in the Same Case?
A serious crimes attorney may advocate more than one person in the same case. The number of the people advocated by the attorney does not matter. He may advocate a hundred of people at the same time. What matters is that there is no conflict of interest among his clients. In other words, if a defense of the serious crimes attorney about a person may harm right to defense of other person or may prevent the attorney advocating him better, a conflict of interest between these two people may be mentioned. In case of a conflict of interest, the lawyer is obliged to make a choice between the two clients. Otherwise, right to defense may be damaged because of such conflict of interest.
How Long Does the Criminal Defense Lawyer Work on a Particular Case?
The criminal defense attorney ceases to work on a particular case when a final decision is given about this case. He is liable to follow up the case until the final decision. Following the decision of the local court, the case will be communicated to the Supreme Court. As a rule, the lawyer should also follow up the case when it is before the Supreme Court. An agreement may be concluded to the contrary.
In the investigation phase, if the profession of attorneyship is performed for only particular investigation procedures, the lawyer ceases to work on the case upon the finalization of these procedures.
Serious Crimes Attorney and the Concept of Crime
Since the concept of crime is directly related with the cultural, economic and political structure of a society, the lawyer acts as a sociologist, aware of the various aspects of this society. Every crime tells about the type of a challenge faced with the society. It is quiate obvious that when there are economic problems, the crimes such as theft, robbery and fraud etc. increase.
It is a general mistake by the public that the criminal defense attorneys advocate the convicts. Contrarily, the lawyer is only engaged in the legal issues based on the authority granted in the Criminal Procedures Code. The lawyer is liable to abstain from such behaviors that may lead to perceptions that he acts for the suspect or the defendant.
A criminal defense attorney performs a professional activity on the most challenging and competitive field of law. Since the society considers that the lawyer acts for the parties because of his role during proceedings, the criminal defense lawyer should pay attention to professional code of conducts for lawyers in the course of his profession.
Istanbul - Turkey Lawyer Baran Dogan