1) Remember the Cause
While in the heat of a case, it can be difficult to focus on anything outside of the case’s confines. It will, however, lower stress to remember the cause of criminal defense in the first place. Reflect on questions like, “Why does our justice system include defense representation?” “Why do defendants have the right to good representation?”
Remembering why criminal defense has been established in the U.S. will add passion to where stress usually resides for many attorneys. Whether guilty or not guilty, defendants deserve just as good of representation as plaintiffs do. The United States’ judicial system is founded upon principles of justice and mercy. Criminal defense attorneys can provide hope and support to defendants who seem to be in a hopeless state.
Another honorable cause of criminal defense lawyers is to keep innocent people out of imprisonment. Without defense attorneys, more ‘criminals’ would join the numbers of those wrongfully convicted. Remembering the cause will help criminal defense lawyers deal with their stress.
2) Don’t Carry the Burden of Proof
An important thing to remember is that defense attorneys do not carry the burden of proof. The prosecution is responsible to prove that the defendant is guilty. Remembering this will, in some way, relieve the pressure of a case. The responsibility of the criminal defense lawyer is simply to address the points of the case and be able to anticipate the issues of conflict. Defense attorneys need just to illustrate that with the evidence represented, the charge can not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Leaving the burden of proof to the prosecution will lower criminal defense lawyers’ stress.
3) Step Away from the Case
In order to be an effective criminal defense attorney who can win the case for the defendant, there must be meticulous research of the case at hand. Depending on the seriousness of a case, criminal defense lawyers can spend months, even years, paying meticulous attention to the details of the case. Defense lawyers have the responsibility to respond to the the prosecution’s side. It can be awfully stressful to prepare a statement that will accurately and persuasively address the points of the case. This stress often overtakes defense attorneys.
To combat this stress, criminal defense lawyers need to step away from the case on occasion. Taking breaks will clear the mind and allow for a new perspective on the same facts when visited again. The heaviness of the case and research can actually hinder the effectiveness of a defense attorney without breaks. One of the best ways to deal with this stress is to have time for leisure, relaxation, relationships, etc. Stepping away from the case just means that the criminal defense lawyer maintains regular interests outside of the case.