Criminal defense lawyer
I came across a video on youtube about how to behave during interrogation or something like that, which collected millions of views: the lawyer tells in a lecture what can and cannot be done in the criminal process and, in particular, in interrogation. It's not the video itself, but the resonance (the number of views), and more precisely, in the comments. There are a lot of indignants: they say that for a country where they are already taught from the cradle (we are talking about a fairly young audience of YouTube) to accept the possibility of criminal prosecution as something common for everyone, indiscriminately. The lawyer, whose goal was simply to advertise his services as a defender in a criminal case, poked and ended up where he probably did not want to. We note without a hint that the lecture itself has no substantial value for the investigators who actually came under the press, but, as mentioned above, had a different effect.
Well, there is an explanation for people's indignation. But this is not a question for discussion, but a question that clearly and unambiguously hangs, as it hung, in the information space: honestly, will a criminal lawyer help?
In fact, a lawyer in a criminal case - is it not just a formality, a requirement of the code, but in fact a useless subject like an outside observer?
What a strange construction: a person who is called to guard the law cannot guarantee anything, but apart from a distant look at the outcome of a criminal case or frankly bad forecasts, is he essentially unable to help? It cannot, by virtue of the functionality assigned to it by the CPC. Who can guarantee anything at all in such a process as criminal? And if it’s not about guarantees, then the role of the lawyer in such an action is eroded. In fact, the assessment of the work of the defense attorney is the lot of the client, and no matter what the appearance or activity of the lawyer, the assessment will not be applicable to any situation other than the one within which it was given. It turns out that it is impossible to evaluate the work of a criminal lawyer, nor to predict, or in any other way “objectify” the subject of necessity, quality, effectiveness from the word “completely”.
Who is to blame, the criminal justice system with its distribution of roles and functionality and powers, the lawyers themselves, the investigation or the judges? Well, of course, the lawyers conducting criminal defense always have the same focus: everyone is to blame, but not me. Indeed, has anyone ever heard from a lawyer to say something like: it’s my fault that my client was convicted, because I didn’t work closely enough to defend him? Personally, I do not.
And the point is not that it’s unusual for people as a whole to condemn themselves, especially if your professional credo and, as a result, your financial well-being are at stake, but that with a careful and thoughtful approach it turns out that the lawyer is in a criminal case - a unit of the criminal process, alien to everyone, including the principal. A lawyer who, let us not deny this, is interested in personal well-being, cannot be a supporter of anyone but himself. And here arguments like "the better your service is, the greater the number of customers will contact you."
No, this will not work here for this reason: such a scheme operating in trade, as practice shows, always leads to a roll-off of an initially high-quality product to the level of “like everyone else” and below. The same is for a lawyer - it is impossible to be the best for everyone. But this is not the main correlate: every lawyer implicitly knows that his work may not be appreciated and is worried that his services would not be appreciated cheaper than he estimates them. This fear of miscalculating, coupled with the need to do what should be objectively done, is unlikely to allow anyone to strive solely for the quality of legal assistance.
The bottom line is that the result of the work often also cannot be expressed otherwise than in the form of an excuse for the client or reduction of the sentence. If there is no justification or decrease in rock, then there seems to be no result either. Well, no, that's all. What was the lawyer in the criminal case, what was not. But the defendant’s excuse conceals a trap. This result is obtained, alas, almost always not thanks to the work of the lawyer, but due to objective reasons, which only conditionally include the lawyer as the submitter of petitions, complaints and other procedural documents.
Initially, a lawyer, as a psychic unit, seeks and will strive to justify himself, contrary to even monetary prospects. This does not mean that he will make dubious decisions or actions, but does not mean that he is interested in the quality of the service and does not mean that he understands and accepts the relationship of his professional solvency and the quality of the services provided to him.
The abundance of lawyers offering services in the criminal process cannot, in essence, mean the prevalence of punitive mechanisms at the state level, but, in my opinion, testifies to the formed tendencies in the society to protect oneself, taking those places and those positions that, in the opinion subject, save him from encroachment in a particular sphere, or even in all.
Therefore, it is unlikely that the criminal justice system will be abused, it is unlikely to adequately demand that the lawyers sacrifice themselves for the sake of saving the client. All underwater currents are not affected by these factors, nor are they seen by those to whom the criminal defense is addressed.
I would like to prevent possible outbursts of emotions about the real cases when a lawyer “helped”, saw violations of the investigators, helped to justify the defendant, and still sought it. No, the view is from a completely different perspective. Indeed, the stories of salvation by lawyers who are unjustly convicted are, were and will be. However, I would like to raise the question not on the basis of their point statistics, but from the very nature, as judges of higher instances like to put it, of the nature of such a phenomenon as a lawyer.
In criminal matters, of course. If the cases when the lawyer “took fifty thousand and did nothing” - the same statistics as “the lawyer helped” - are approximately equal shares, then there is no need to be a great logician to understand that the examples do not work. What to do? How to give a definite answer: who is the lawyer for the suffering?
It seems that the only thing that can somehow shed light on all this is the analysis of the situation in its layers, with the decomposition of the initial positions into levels, and then, after a separate analysis, integration together with another attempt to give an unambiguous answer. However, this is a completely different story.