Both prosecutor and defense lawyer are attorneys who participate in the trial on the criminal cases. In contrast to the defense attorney who attends both civil and criminal trials, the prosecutor only works on criminal cases. In general, prosecutor charges the suspect and attempts to convict him/her. Defense attorney aims to suspect being his/her client and avoid the conviction. Of course, they both are lawyers but each has his/her significant role in the case.
Are defense lawyer and prosecutor similar?
Actually, they have similarities. First one is that they both complete the same educational institution, a four-year undergraduate program. But, in addition, attorneys attend 3-years of law school and get a Juris Doctor degree. After graduating law school all lawyers should pass a bar examination and get admission to the state bar to practice law. Both the defense lawyer and prosecutor are the main “players” in the system of criminal court.
Roles they take
The system of criminal justice has 3 main parts consisting of a judge and/or jury, the prosecutor and the defense lawyer. Of course, each part has its roles and corresponding duties. The judge and/or jury render an impartial decision or verdict. It should be based on reasonable and grounded facts and evidence. To make the decision, the presiding judge and/or jury also listen to the arguments and facts provides by both sides: the prosecutor and the defense.
In the majority of cases, the prosecutor represents the office of the district attorney. This body takes responsibility for criminal prosecutions which are within their jurisdiction and competence. The prosecutor presents a case to convince a judge or jury that the suspect is guilty. To ground the case he/she attempts to gain evidence against the accused.
The defendant represents the defense. The defendant either hires a defense attorney or the court appoints a public defender if the defendant can not pay the fees for an attorney. Consequently, the defense attorney should argue the case and prove the innocence of the suspect: his/her client.
“The prosecutor is the principal representative of the state in all matters related to the adjudication of criminal offenses. He has a hand in virtually every decision made in the legal course of every case that comes before the criminal courts. The prosecution function is organized differently at the local and federal levels. In all but two states, each county in the state elects a local prosecutor and, in keeping with the notion of equal access to justice for all citizens, pays the prosecutor from public funds. Most chief prosecutors have complete authority and control over the prosecution policies and practices in their jurisdictions, constrained only by the broad outlines of criminal justice statutes, case law, and court procedures that are under the authority of the judiciary.”
“Defense attorney is the lawyer, representing the legitimate interests of the suspect or the accused at the proceedings of the criminal case, and offering him/her legal assistance by all means and manners, not prohibited by law. A person obtains the status of the defense attorney from the moment he undertakes the functions of representing the accused or the suspected with their consent. After undertaking the defense, the defense attorney must immediately inform the body in charge of criminal proceedings.”
At the beginning of the criminal case, the prosecutor’s power is more than the one of a defense attorney. The prosecutor may offer the defense either a plea deal or bargain. In fact, this enables the accused to plead guilty to the charge or lesser one. This may lead the defendant to avoid a trial and receive more tolerant sentence than expected.
Basically, the system of the criminal justice does not allow people to represent their selves. Are you arrested? You need an attorney to support you and defend your rights and get the possible best results in your favor. You think that the outcome of your case may be less than desirable? Your experienced attorney will obtain evidence and built a strong ground to file an appeal. He/she will “aggressively” fight for your rights.
P.S. Court trial definition
“A court trial, also called a bench trial or a jury trial, is when all the facts of a case are heard, and a judge or jury makes the final decision about the court case. An offender can waive their rights to a jury trial and just have the judge make the ruling in a bench trial. A bench trial is different than a jury trial because a jury trial has a panel of an individual’s peers make the final decision.”