The roles of the defense attorney are very important for innocent and guilty lives. It does not matter what kind of crime is committed, any defense attorney has to find enough gaps of charge, powerful alibi, and effective evidence. The roles of defense attorneys may differ considerably, depending on the type of crime. Two types of crimes, white-collar crime, and conventional crime, also known as street crime, will be discussed. Defense work with white-collar and conventional criminals mostly depends on the level of people’s involvement in the crime, availability, and nature of information, and awareness of the court about the offender’s intentions. A white-collar criminal defense is easier in comparison to a conventional criminal defense because defense attorney faces different challenges, and the duties of a defense attorney of a conventional criminal are more serious and provocative due to the obligatory work with clients, thorough analysis of the case, evaluation of evidence, and possible concealment of information.
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It is hard to define what kind of crime is easier to support because the levels of white-collar crimes and conventional crimes may vary. This is why it is better to discover what kind of crime is easier to defend in accordance with their nature and grounds. Conventional crimes are characterized by traditional illegal behaviors anare d “associated with certain images – weapons, disguises, black-and-white police cars involved with high-speed chases, dead-of-night actions, spur-of-the-moment emotionally, and the like” (Clinard & Meier, 2007, p. 190). White-collar crimes have nothing in common with such crimes because they are committed only by people with high social status. One of the purposes of any defense attorney is to control any kind of information not to allow this information to spoil the situation in regards to an offender.
Defense attorneys face fewer challenges when they work with white-collar criminals. They need to condu research and “learn as much as possible about the case, beyond even what the prosecutors may know, hoping to be in a position to dissuade the government from even seeking an indictment” (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 321). The actions of white-collar criminals are thoroughly planned, and it becomes easier to find evidence and use it to protect a person. White-collar criminals have enough support at different levels and have all chances to pay off the harm they are blamed for. Attorneys should care about the possibility to ask for a suspended sentence. Possible sentences for these criminals are imprisonment for several years. For example, the actions of Martha Stuart lead to her several months’ sentencing.
Defense attorneys should be ready for harder work with conventional criminals. First, it is necessary to find out enough witnesses, who are able to prove person’s innocence. Second, if there is some information that can ruin a criminal reputation, a defense attorney has to hide it thoroughly or use it to support a client. Finally, conventional offenders usually start their careers at an early age and improve their skills with time, this is why it becomes more difficult to prove that this crime is a mistake that cannot be forgiven. One of the examples may be taken from the movie The Green Mile, where innocent John Coffey was blamed for raping and killing a girl and sentenced to death.
In general, a white-collar criminal has more chances to be justified because no death and physical pain are observed. One more positive side of white-collar crimes is the possibility to prolong these cases, and conventional crimes are solved within a short period of time if there is a number of evidences. However, people still should care about the ways on how to avoid crimes and make this world safer for our future generations.
Clinard, M.B. & Meier, R.F. (2008). Sociology of Deviant Behavior. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.
Friedrichs, D.O. (2009). Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.
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