The Differences Between a Defense Attorney and Lawyer
If you ever find yourself needing legal representation, who will you choose to represent you?
By now, you may be wondering, “Should I call for a lawyer or a defense attorney?” There’s a bit of a problem, though — you don’t know what’s the difference between them. You can represent yourself, but that’s risky. With the charges you’re facing and your freedom at stake, you want to make sure that the right person represents you in court.
Fortunately, this post can help you with that. Keep reading to know more!
What is a Lawyer?
A lawyer practices law. He or she graduated from law school but may or may not have passed the bar exam, which is a requirement before they can practice law. To put it simply, they assist their clients in court and provide aid for legal matters. It is not required to provide yourself with a lawyer if your case is simple and straightforward, but it is still highly recommended that you get one.
Lawyers are the ones you see in films questioning witnesses and defending their clients inside the courtroom. They provide evidence that will help with their client’s case and act as their advisor for all the legalities surrounding it. Unlike attorneys, a lawyer’s duties are subjected to court.
Some lawyers provide additional roles for their clients, including interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence and information through research. Aside from defending you in court, lawyers will also give you legal advice in accordance with their code of ethics.
In addition, lawyers can also write and draft contracts, wills, and legal documents that will apply to their respective jurisdictions.
You May Seek A Lawyer When:
- You could go to jail.
- You have a crucial case involving money.
- You need to deal with immigration matters.
- You have a complex business negotiation.
- You’re going through a divorce.
- You want to contest or defend a will.
These are just some issues where finding and consulting with a lawyer is highly suggested.
What is an Attorney?
An attorney is someone who conducts business with an individual or an establishment. They are agents of the law, assisting legal processes inside and outside of the court, as opposed to a lawyers’ duties that are only subjected to the court.
You must take note that your attorney can only represent you in court if he or she is a “defense attorney at law.” To become a certified defense attorney, they must have the same qualifications as a lawyer. This is why lawyers and defense attorneys are often interchangeable.
The client and attorney’s relationship is also stated in the power of defense attorney document, which means defense attorneys can take different roles for you. They can support you in court while handling your legal documents outside of it at the same time.
Other duties of attorneys include prosecuting cases, advising clients, preparing contracts and other legal documents, etc. An attorney may act on pleading and defending a case on your behalf
You May Seek An Attorney When:
- You are involved in a civil lawsuit.
- You are being sued for malpractice.
- You have a case against the IRS.
- You are undergoing a divorce and fighting for child custody.
- You are suing or being sued for personal injury.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you find yourself facing a criminal case, consulting a criminal defense attorney is the most recommended thing to do. They will investigate the case, research facts, and offer legal advice to you where you will most benefit. They will also try to negotiate with the prosecutors by reducing your bail or even sentence.
Lawyer vs. Attorney
To summarize, attorneys and lawyers have studied and are both professionals in law. They are similar in what they provide to their clients when it comes to legal proceedings. The main difference is that not all lawyers can perform the duties of attorneys — which is conducting business outside the court.