Defense Attorney Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Defense Attorney, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Defense Attorney?

n. 1) During a lawsuit or criminal prosecution, the attorney who represents the defendant. 2) The lawyer chosen by an insurance company to represent defendants who have insurance. 3) Lawyers who typically represent criminal defendants. When damages are involved, they’re referred to as “plaintiff’s attorneys.”

History and Meaning of Defense Attorney

A defense attorney is a lawyer who represents individuals, groups, or companies who have been accused of a crime, also known as the defendant. The primary role of a defense attorney is to ensure that the defendant's rights are protected and that they receive a fair trial. This includes investigating the case, gathering evidence, preparing legal documents, and presenting arguments in court.

The concept of a defense attorney can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman law, which recognized the need for an impartial advocate to assist the accused. In the United States, the right to counsel is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which ensures the right to a fair trial and representation by counsel.

Examples of Defense Attorney

  1. John Smith was accused of robbery and hired a defense attorney to represent him in court.
  2. The insurance company appointed a defense attorney to represent the driver in the car accident case.
  3. The defense attorney cross-examined the prosecution's witness to challenge their credibility.
  4. The defendant's defense attorney argued that the evidence presented by the prosecution was insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Legal Terms Similar to Defense Attorney

  1. Prosecutor: A lawyer who represents the government or state in a criminal trial.
  2. Plaintiff's attorney: A lawyer who represents the plaintiff, a person or entity who brings a lawsuit against another party.
  3. Public defender: A lawyer who is appointed by the court to represent defendants who cannot afford to pay for a private defense attorney.