The Role and Responsibilities of a Criminal Litigation Lawyer

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The Role and Responsibilities of a Criminal Litigation Lawyer

A criminal litigation lawyer specializes in the practice of criminal law and represents an individual or organization charged with illegal activity.

Areas of practice

Criminal litigation lawyers handle a diverse spectrum of charges, such as fraud and embezzlement, homicides, drug offences, appeals, domestic violence, sexual offences, and assaults and threats.

Criminal charges may come with severe penalties, including prison sentences and hefty fines. Therefore, it is best to consult a criminal litigation lawyer as soon as possible.

A criminal litigation lawyer will explain the charges and provide legal guidance to avoid pitfalls that may affect the case if it goes to court. Once a case has been brought against you before the court, a criminal litigation lawyer will:

Assess the case

The first thing a criminal litigation lawyer will do is assess your case and consider the evidence in your favour and the evidence against you. Your lawyer will then explore possible defence strategies.

Explore disclosure and build a case strategy

In a criminal case, the prosecution has a duty to disclose. Disclosure refers to the process of sharing information about witnesses and evidence to be presented at trial. Meticulous examination of all aspects of the Crown’s case, coupled with a complete understanding of criminal law, is a foundation for building a solid defence. A strong case strategy could exonerate or produce a more favourable sentence for a client.


A key part of a criminal lawyer’s strategy is the ability to negotiate. Criminal litigators will sometimes meet with Crown prosecutors and judges in a Crown pre-trial. In this meeting, a criminal litigator can negotiate bail, plea bargains, and at times present details that could result in a withdrawal of charges.

Communicate honestly

A criminal litigation lawyer will need to keep their client updated on the progress of the case, whether good or bad. They will need to ensure their client understands the charges, their legal rights, and the options available given their unique situation.

Honesty and confidentiality are essential between a client and their lawyer. All discussions and documents shared are protected under solicitor-client privilege to enable trust. A lawyer may, however, break this privilege to prevent a criminal act.

A criminal litigation lawyer’s duty to communicate honestly also extends to information presented to the court and jurors. Therefore, a criminal litigator cannot support perjury by clients.

Advocate in court

A criminal litigation lawyer is the defendant’s advocate in court. They will present the case before a judge or jury, interview witnesses, and work to ensure their client’s legal rights are protected throughout the entire process. At the close of each day, a criminal litigator will re-evaluate the day’s proceedings, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and develop arguments for the days to follow.


If the trial’s outcome is unfavourable, the criminal litigation lawyer can present evidence against the court’s decision in an appeal process. In these situations, having a criminal lawyer with appellate law experience is advantageous. They will have knowledge of how to draft post-trial motions and identify issues that may have arisen during the trial to develop appellate strategies for presentation.

Consult an experienced criminal lawyer in Calgary

If you are facing criminal charges in Calgary, contact us at the law office of Jason Wuttunee Criminal Defence Lawyer.

Jason Wuttunee is experienced in all facets of criminal law. He has a wealth of experience in criminal litigation for major crimes, substantial jury trial experience, and is adept in appellate litigation. He can provide legal guidance for the best possible outcome.

Call us today to schedule a consultation with Mr. Wuttunee to discuss your case.

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