What Is Criminal Defense Law?

by Michael James Tortora on Dec. 10, 2018


Summary: Running afoul of the law can have serious consequences, including job loss, a damaged reputation, court fees and fines, and time in jail or prison. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’ll want a criminal defense lawyer to represent you and protect your rights.

Running afoul of the law can have serious consequences, including job loss, a damaged reputation, court fees and fines, and time in jail or prison. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’ll want a criminal defenselawyer to represent you and protect your rights. The following introduction to criminal law will help you understand what services criminal defense lawyers offer and how they can aid you.

A Primer on Criminal Defense Law 

What Is Criminal Defense

In the U.S. legal system, if you’re accused of committing a crime, your rights are still protected. One of these rights is the presumption of innocence – that is, that you must be proven guilty before you can be punished for a crime. In criminal cases, a prosecutor will attempt to prove your guilt in court. The law affords you the right to your own attorney, who argues in your favor and ensures that you receive due process. 

What Defense Attorneys Do

criminal defenseDepending on the type of crime you allegedly committed, your prior criminal history, and other factors, attorneys may be able to secure your release from jail pending trial. They’ll review the facts of your case and offer advice as to the best course of action. If there’s insufficient evidence to support the charges against you, they may petition to have the case dismissed. If there is evidence, however, they may advise entering a guilty plea after bargaining with the prosecutor for reduced charges or a more lenient sentence. Alternatively, your case may go to trial. 

What Happens at Trial

If your case does make it to the courtroom, your criminal defense lawyer will represent you. They’ll gather evidence to support your case. Your defense attorney may choose one or multiple strategies to defend your interests and rights, depending on the circumstances. Your lawyer could provide an affirmative defense, proving the prosecution’s evidence against you to be false – for example, by calling a credible witness who establishes your alibi. They can also challenge the prosecutor’s case on procedural grounds or on Fourth Amendment issues. If the evidence against you was the fruit of an illegal search by the police, for instance, your attorney may be able to have it suppressed, weakening the prosecution’s argument. These are just a few of the tools criminal defense attorneys can use to assist you. 


For a trustworthy criminal defense attorney in Fairfield County, CT, look to The Tortora Law Firm, LLC. With over 20 years of experience, these professionals have the knowledge, experience, and attention to detail you want when tackling tough charges. This qualified team will represent you aggressively in the courtroom.

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