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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112

    Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Hello, I have been debating whether being an investigator is right for me, or an attorney. I am very passionate about individuals who disobey rules and result in the jeopardy of public safety, thus I would like to ensure it. Now I know neither of them exactly enforce "justice" nor does justice prevail (100%) in either job, but here is where I am at currently in my decision making.

    Investigator: I do get justice because I have some option of deciding whether or not an individual has committed acts of crime. Yet I do not always have it in my control whether or not the court will find them guilty. Can protect my community/nation both in the present and future.

    Lawyer: I might represent someone who is guilty (and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it), therefore justice is not prevailed. I have the chance to give an innocent individual who has no alibi freedom by proving their innocence. I can make/change laws in the far future.

    I feel as if both careers would be rewarding to me, and I am not in it for money (nor am I worried about student debt. Basically any financial burdens).

    I would like to receive PMs in regards to the matter from former/current lawyers to get a sense of the unknown activities that take place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,941
    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    Hello, I have been debating whether being an investigator is right for me, or an attorney. I am very passionate about individuals who disobey rules and result in the jeopardy of public safety, thus I would like to ensure it. Now I know neither of them exactly enforce "justice" nor does justice prevail (100%) in either job, but here is where I am at currently in my decision making.

    Investigator: I do get justice because I have some option of deciding whether or not an individual has committed acts of crime. Yet I do not always have it in my control whether or not the court will find them guilty. Can protect my community/nation both in the present and future.

    Lawyer: I might represent someone who is guilty (and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it), therefore justice is not prevailed. I have the chance to give an innocent individual who has no alibi freedom by proving their innocence. I can make/change laws in the far future.

    I feel as if both careers would be rewarding to me, and I am not in it for money (nor am I worried about student debt. Basically any financial burdens).

    I would like to receive PMs in regards to the matter from former/current lawyers to get a sense of the unknown activities that take place.
    You seem unsure of your path, based on numerous posts on this board. An 1811 is a "calling" similar to the military. If you don't "know" you want to be one, skip it and seek another career.

    Investigators collect information and evidence, a judge, and/or jury determine guilt or innocence.

    I can stop a car on the highway, order the driver out, put cuffs on him, and order him to give me the keys to the trunk, and discover 500 LBS of cocaine in the trunk.

    He is not guilty as this case will never be prosecuted, as his rights were violated (by me). Not one prosecutor would take that case. Sure, he might get arrested and spent the weekend in jail. But once the prosecutor gets involved, he is released and case will be declined. Did he violate any laws ? Yes.

    All the criminal defense attorneys I know, including one who I eat lunch with, could care less about "real" guilt, they only care about finding legal advantages and reasons to result in either 1) Not Guilty or 2) the best solution for the client IE guilty but time served.
    Last edited by satpak77; 03-17-2015 at 22:20.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    If I skipped every career because I didn't know, I will end up unemployed for life. I believe you need an adequate amount of information before you can fully assess your future.

    That being said, yes I am very unsure of my path. I find I could enjoy different aspects of each occupation, but am unsure which appeals to me more.

    I am just trying to find out as much as possible, as well as respectfully volunteering to a pro bono law firm. The more perspectives I obtain, the better my decision will become. Sorry if I am stepping out on the ledge here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541
    Here, let me help: A police officer gets to drive above the speed limit while playing with lights & sirens; gets to fight in bars when the disorderly drunk takes a swing while being arrested; gets to beat up a man who was beating on a woman & gets to help save lives... And gets paid for it... And it's LEGAL! After you get through all your police academy & field training and you police for a couple of years, get your law degree and get on the bar. Start with some small civil stuff like probating wills and other legal paperwork. By then, you will KNOW your court system. You will have policed there, you'll know how the judges rule and you'll know the court clerks. NOW you make that big decision on which way to go. Might it be civil, criminal defense or prosecution? Who knows? Who cares? Go have fun and don't worry about it right now. Go protect your citizens & neighbors. Policing is the most rewarding experience I've ever had. Best of luck!
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    Well I am beginning my applications to apply as a volunteer at my residential D.A. offices and apply as a reserve deputy/officer. Hopefully I can obtain some position to knowledge me; because, truthfully, it is very difficult (if not intimidating) to seek information about such matters, it seems the information is either not honest or inaccessible. So I greatly appreciate everything I can learn from here, from current/former law-career-based professionals.

    That being said, I did have a question... Does every officer have the right to attend his/her trial for citing a ticket and be a witness. Might be straightforward, or dependant on circumstance. Just wanted to know if you are given a chance to "lawyer" your side of the story and explain why your actions/arrest was lawful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    112
    I am sorry, I still don't understand. I'm not an individual who enjoys taking in information without adequate explanations.

    So here is where I stand-
    A officer: Enforces the law, cites and warns about laws broken, issues speedy trial the instance he cites*, responds to emergency situations because they have the communication*, assist when there is disputes or complications, maintains a presence of public safety.

    A lawyer: Can legally enforce the law...

    Quote Originally Posted by FedAgent View Post
    Here, let me help: A police officer...gets to beat up a man who was beating on a woman & gets to help save lives...
    I don't know if it's just a Texas statute; but, you are allowed up to deadly force (if necessary) to protect yourself or someone else if they are in imminent danger. So they, police officers and lawyers, both have that in common. Additionally, lawyers are allowed legally to enforce laws (I do not mean speed to catch a reckless driver, because you are just putting the public in greater harm; but, something like fining a business for illegally allowing their landscapers to blow leaves onto the street [i.e. littering] or suing the said reckless driver for putting the lawyer and the public in danger). So they can enforce and issue citations, just in a strategic manner as opposed to a direct confrontation. Furthermore, a lawyer can solve common issues as long as they are not breaking laws (I am still researching if assisting in a stoplight malfunction is illegal, you would have to jaywalk and interrupt traffic for a brief moment before you actually redirect them...). And of course, lawyers have a presence as well for the public's defense. Now they have some leeway on the right to a speedy trial because until they give notice to the party of their wrong-doing, they have additional time to the prepare their statements (obviously until statute of limitations plays its role and other restrictions).*

    So the main differences I see is documentation time and trial time. One has a direct confrontation (police officer) and one has a more elaborate technique for ensuring citations are met (lawyer), if they choose to.

    I believe these professions often overlap, because they use one justice system so it obviously makes sense. But please, please inform me where I am mistaken. Like I said, I am quite ignorant in this broad field and I believe these professions are not as easy to obtain accurate information as others.

    *states notable differences

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    And to be honest, on a forum for people who have learned the difference and are pursuing particular enforcement occupations, we are not taken with answering large crystal ball questions such as your last. Really, its time for you to either take some basic criminal justice classes on the American criminal justice system and the roles of the parties in it, to get a book or to fire away on Google until you get it sorted out enough to ask an informed question.

    Here's one I found with just a quick search on "The American Criminal Justice System" http://www.sagepub.com/haganintrocri...anCJSystem.pdf.

    God knows what they do in Texas, but generally in the U.S. if a police officer sees a man hit or shove a woman he can exercise his powers of arrest for the misdemeanor crime of battery. A lawyer seeing the same incident generally has no powers of arrest and again, generally, you cannot make a citizens' arrest for a misdemeanor. The lawyer can call 911. There is a built in divide between what prosecutors do and cops do that is intended to ensure an accused person has a fair trial or hearing. Prosecutors are a particular kind of lawyer. Do the homework and I'm closing this once again as a big crystal ball kind of question.

    No amount of questions at the level you are asking them is going to let us help you deciding what might fit you. If you have the opportunity to intern or attend a citizens academy then you will have a better sense than anything we can say.

    Sorry, but you have heard this same thing across numerous threads and posts and I'm just going to shut off any more crystal ball questions at the start.
    ret.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    7,369
    In its broadest sense, "law enforcement" means anyone who enforces the law and that can include prosecutors, regulatory investigators and attorneys, among others. As an example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) views itself as a law enforcement agency because they do enforce the various statutes under their jurisdiction, to include conducting investigations and pursuing civil/regulatory actions to ensure compliance. However, they do not conduct criminal investigations and do not make arrests, carry firearms, or do the "enforcement" aspects that most of us consider to be true law enforcement.

    Yes, a lawyer can use deadly force for self-defense or defense of others, and perhaps effect arrests in certain circumstances, all dependent on state law, but they do so under the same authority as the average citizen. They have neither the training, certifications, or authorities of a state peace officer. Some states recognize prosecutors as peace officers, but in my experience that is largely about providing them with protection from assault (i.e., providing an enhanced penalty if someone threats or attacks them), rather than granting them any sort of actual arrest or firearms authority.

    I have met many prosecutors, especially at the federal level, who view their experience as law enforcement. That's a matter of opinion, but I can tell you few things aggravates law enforcement officers like a career attorney describing themselves as a law enforcement officer. If you don't see a distinction between the two fields, I am going to suggest again that being the police may not be a calling for you.


 

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