Civil law is different in that it does not deal with the more heinous aspect of crime. It deals with civil actions, such as bankruptcies, financial issues and misdemeanor charges, such as blue and white color crime. Punishments that are given to criminals in a civil action usually receive hefty fines and fees with probation, although they may have to serve time, depending on the severity of their crime. Criminals who are convicted of in a criminal court will have more chance to spend some time behind bars because the nature of their crimes will always be much worse. These are crimes that directly harm other human beings and their punishments should be as severe as their crime.
Although some countries have whipping and caning as a punishment for some of the harsh crimes that are committed, most countries have outlawed this as a practice and taken up other forms of control, such as long imprisonment terms without parole or redemption. Punishments are very often determined by the culture of the society in which crime has occurred.
It is vital to a criminal lawyer that he or she be well educated, self-confident and highly intelligent. Considering the kind of people they have to work with, having some background or education in the psychological field will not only help understand the mind of someone who commits crime, it will also help the person representing them stay on a solid psychological ground. Many criminals enjoy toying with the court system and all authority figures. Their representative should be well aware of this fact before taking on any tough clients.
Someone who works in this field will be required to spend a certain amount of time helping the local court system by acting as a public defender on occasion. Usually, this kind of system works on a rotation basis and is shared by the local defenders.
Lawyers who work in this capacity will have the knowledge and the ability to make their clients understand the law surrounding their case and any details that might involve them. They will decide if the client should take the stand in their own defense and they will formulate strategies to do the best that they can for their client while still upholding the law.
Each case and each crime are different, although they will generally end up in at least one of a few main categories, such as murder, rape or bodily injury. Lawyers should continue learning through the years, making sure they are personally aware of any changes in the laws that are made.
A criminal lawyer will need to be sharp and focused, dedicated to doing what is right while also making sure the right thing is done in each case. Understanding that crime is not all about what is taken or what is done but what is inside the person is a major factor in doing this job.