What do American Lawyers Do?
American lawyers are located in the United States. They are allowed to prosecute and defend clients in a court of law. They handle cases from all areas of law, both domestic and international.
Lawyers in America are also known as attorneys, counselors, and counselors-at-law. In the United States, there is no distinction between attorneys who plead in court and those that do not, unlike other countries.
In recent years, individuals have begun finding attorneys on the internet. A survey conducted in 2012 indicated that 76% of Americans searched for their attorney online.
There is a distinction in the United States between civil and criminal law. Many attorneys handle both types of cases and some specialize in one or the other.
A civil attorney is a lawyer hired by an individual to pursue or defend a civil lawsuit in a court of law. Civil lawsuits arise in many different areas of law and often concern the recovery of money or property. Areas of civil law include:
- Personal injury law;
- Employment law;
- Family law;
- Business and Finance law;
- Immigration law;
- Real estate law;
- Landlord / tenant law; and
- Other areas of law.
Criminal law is intended to handle behavior that is considered an offense against society, the state, or public, even if the victim is an individual person. An individual who is convicted of a crime may be confined to jail or prison and be required to pay monetary criminal fines.
Criminal lawyers handle cases involving criminal law. In America, only the federal government or a state government may bring a criminal case against an individual. Lawyers who are employed by these bodies to handle criminal cases are called prosecutors.
Why is it Important to Hire an American Lawyer?
If you are facing any legal issues in America, it is essential to hire an American lawyer. An American lawyer will be familiar with the laws of the country.
It is very important to hire an American lawyer for any type of case, whether civil or criminal. In civil cases, you are either the plaintiff, or the individual bringing the lawsuit, or the defendant, or the individual defending the lawsuit.
A plaintiff in a civil case is seeking damages, usually monetary, from the defendant for an injury they suffered. For example, in a personal injury case, the plaintiff will be seeking monetary damages. In cases of car accidents, these damages may cover medical bills and lost wages.
A defendant in a civil case is defending themselves against the claims made by the plaintiff and attempting to avoid having to pay damages. In some cases, a defendant may be able to argue that the plaintiff contributed to their injuries and reduce the amount of damages they are required to pay.
In criminal cases, an individual will be named as a defendant, or the individual who is accused of a crime. In America, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty.Crimes in America are broken into categories, including:
- Misdemeanors; and
These are distinguished by whether a defendant can be incarcerated and for how long and how much they are required to pay in monetary fines.
Felonies are the most serious category of crime. They are punishable by one year to life in a prison. There may also be hefty fines associated with a conviction. There are subcategories of felonies that vary by state.
Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but more serious than infractions. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and criminal fines. They also include many subcategories that vary by state.
Infractions, which are also known as violations, are the least serious of crimes. They are usually punishable by fines but not jail time. Traffic offenses are the most common form of infractions.
What are Some Other Issues Related to American Lawsuits?
There are numerous types of attorneys in America but all are required to attend law school and pass the bar exam in their respective state. Some attorneys may go on to obtain additional degrees, such as tax degrees or certifications in certain areas of law.
Many attorneys will handle multiple types of cases in their practices. Some may have a special type of case or area of law that they focus on, such as family law. It is important to ensure that the lawyer you choose is familiar with the area of law your case concerns.
Do You Need an American Lawyer for Your Case?
It is important to have an American lawyer for your case. Whether your case is civil or criminal in nature, it may involve a large amount of money or even jail time.
As previously noted, laws vary across the country. They may be different in every state, even in every city. It is essential to have an attorney who is knowledgeable about local laws. If you are new to American and unfamiliar with American laws, an attorney will be glad to advise you on any issue you may encounter.