A public defender is a lawyer who is assigned by the state to represent people who cannot afford to hire legal counsels to manage their court cases. It is the job of a public defender to gather all the facts and proofs that will save their clients from conviction. In essence, a public defender is an individual who is assigned to ensure that no person within the United States of America goes unrepresented in a court of law.
Eligibility requirements to work as a public defender include a law degree with a license to work in the state where her or she intends to work. Ability to read and interpret legal documents, business correspondence and procedure manuals are just some of the basic skills that a public defender requires. In addition to this, he or she is expected to effectively represent information and respond to questions from judges and attorneys appropriately. Also, it is required of public defenders to be able to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions in sync with the cases that they have been assigned.
Working as a public defender is a high-stress job which means that the person performing it has to be emotionally and mentally stable. Coping can often become a problem if emotional stability is not a virtue. Some of the main duties that a public defender performs include:
• Interview clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors to determine their sides of the story
• Create and maintain case information, representing facts to aid the preparation of each assigned case
• Represent individuals at investigative proceedings, including working closely with medical and forensic teams
• Investigate alleged crimes and offenses by interviewing witnesses and police officers and reviewing facts
• Meet with clients to discuss and provide information of appropriate actions that can be taken and to determine if pre-trial motions must be filed
• Study and interpret laws court decisions and other legal authorities to determine correlation with assigned cases
• Write pleadings, motions, briefs and legal arguments to be presented in court at the time of trials
• Establish and maintain close contacts with defendants by paying regular visits to correctional facilities
• Act as a negotiator between defendant and state attorneys to secure acquittals or reach sentencing time agreements
• Represent clients in court to ensure that their names are cleared of misdemeanor or crimes
• Prepare pre-trial motions and ensure that they are timely and accurately filed
• Handle post-trial matters such as motions to withdraw appeals, reconsider sentences and post-conviction petitions