What Are The Responsibilities Of A Criminal Lawyer?

If you are charged with a crime you need a professional to protect you in your corner—that’s where a criminal lawyer comes in. They’ll apply the principles of the law to create defences for their clients and examine any evidence presented by the prosecutor.  

In Canada, those who are accused of crimes have the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. A criminal lawyer’s job is to ensure their client is treated fairly throughout their trial. 

But what does working as a criminal lawyer actually look like? We’re going to discuss what this job description entails:

Communicate with the Client

Clients rely on their lawyers to provide legal counsel during critical points around the trial. This includes police interrogations, preliminary hearings, and the trial itself.

There needs to be open communication between the client and the lawyer. To prepare for all possible arguments in court, the criminal lawyer needs to know all relevant information about what occurred. A lawyer can’t defend their client against details and instances they are unaware of. 

As the case progresses, the criminal lawyer should keep the client in the loop about any updates. They should also discuss all potential outcomes of the case, including what might happen if the judge finds the accused to be guilty. When the client has questions about their trial, the defence lawyer should provide them with accurate and informed advice.


As you can imagine, each court case is unique. But drawing parallels to historical cases can help a criminal lawyer weave a compelling argument. 

It’s beneficial for lawyers to learn about trials that are similar to what their clients are dealing with. This gives the criminal lawyer an idea of how the court will view different arguments or pieces of evidence. Based on this information, they can create a defence that’s backed by knowledge and research.

Gather Information

They say that the best offence is a good defence. Your criminal lawyer should collect all information that’s relevant to the case. This may include things like:

  • Visiting the crime scene
  • Collecting witness statements
  • Finding any evidence

Preparing for trial is a pivotal part of being a criminal lawyer. The last thing they want is to be unaware of something that may arise once the court is in session, like a key piece of information or a witness they didn’t speak with. 

Remain Impartial and Neutral

During a criminal trial, emotions can run high. But one responsibility that all criminal lawyers have is to remain neutral. 

It’s every criminal lawyer’s goal to secure the best possible outcome for their clients—however, not all of them can be acquitted. When clients are facing punishments like jail sentences, fines, or probation, it’s up to the lawyer to negotiate a better outcome. They can discuss a plea bargain to potentially reduce the severity of a client’s sentence.

In summary, a criminal lawyer is responsible for doing everything they can to ensure clients receive fair trials. They can make the difference between a life-changing, negative outcome and a favourable one.

Are you in need of Winnipeg criminal lawyers? Matthew Gould can help. With over 10 years of experience, he provides legal representation in areas like youth offences, fraud, impaired driving, and more.