1 June 2022

Behind the scenes of criminal law

When most people think of a criminal lawyer, they usually conjure up images of TV shows – Suits (hey there, Harvey) and Law & Order, to name just two.

It’s true that being a criminal lawyer is a dynamic and fast-paced career choice, as depicted in the fictitious world. However, what the viewer doesn’t see is the dedication to studying the law itself, the long hours and the commitment to clients as we work to achieving an outcome that is best for them.

Criminal law is a vast area of Australia’s legal system which regulates conduct in society to protect the community and maintain social order. In essence, criminal law provides sanctions against those who commit crimes. There are a broad range of criminal charges for which a person can be charged – from a driving offence such as speeding right through to murder. Due to its breadth and the complex nature of some charges, specialist advice and representation in criminal law is important. This is the case even before being charged with a crime, which is why we provide advice at an early stage as well as representation for all types of criminal investigations and charges.

So, what does a criminal lawyer do in Australia?

There are two types of criminal lawyers: defence lawyers and prosecution lawyers. Defence lawyers represent people charged with crimes, while prosecution lawyers, who normally work for the state or commonwealth, aim to prove that people charged with crimes are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

On any given day, a criminal lawyer may perform any number of tasks, including (but not limited to):

  • Meeting with clients to discuss the case and its progress
  • Examining the crime scene and/or conducting independent investigations into the case and collecting evidence
  • Identifying and interviewing relevant witnesses, including people who know the defendant and experts relevant to the case
  • Researching relevant laws
  • Developing a case strategy
  • Negotiating with opposing legal teams for charges and resolutions
  • Drafting, filing and arguing motions (a motion is a written request to the court to ask for a decision)
  • Attending court and arguing for or against the defendant in front of a Magistrate, Judge and/or jury
  • Drafting, filing and arguing appeals to contest the original ruling or penalty.

Being a criminal lawyer is challenging work that is rewarding and makes a positive difference to society. Morrisons – Criminal and Traffic Law Specialists has two accredited criminal law specialists in Wollongong and the Southern Highlands, with expertise across a broad range of criminal charges, at both a state and federal level. Did you know Morrisons is the only private law firm in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and South Coast regions with two solicitors recognised as Accredited Specialists in Criminal Law by the NSW Law Society?

We pride ourselves on being affordable criminal lawyers. Our initial consultation is free and we offer fixed fee pricing, so our clients know what they are paying upfront.


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