How much do criminal lawyers make?

The principle of freedom, which Americans highly value, manifests itself in the involvement of this nation in the presumption of innocence in the criminal trial. However, in the United States, the presumption of innocence requires the prosecutor’s office to prove his case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt before he is found guilty. How much do criminal lawyers make?

Job description

The primary role of a lawyer in criminal matters is to represent the defendant in the criminal justice system. This includes proceedings, pre-trial hearings, settlement conferences, court hearings and convictions.

Usually, lawyers dealing with criminal matters work on several cases at the same time, each at different stages of the criminal process. During criminal proceedings, criminal lawyers offer their clients legal advice that is in their best interest. The extensive knowledge of criminal lawyers helps them protect their constitutional rights. 

The profession of criminal lawyer includes the following tasks: 

  • Hearing of witnesses
  • Conducting legal research
  • Creating exhibits for demonstrations in court
  • Gathering additional evidence to support their case or arguments against the prosecution’s allegations
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Meeting experts to give evidence in court
How much do criminal lawyers make?

Educational Requirements

Like all lawyers, criminal lawyers must obtain a bachelor’s degree and participate in a three-year law school program. After completing post-graduate studies, you must pass a state-led bar exam to obtain a state license. A future criminal lawyer must have completed at least seven years of full-time study at an accredited university and law school before becoming qualified.

The highest salary of a criminal lawyer by position

The profession of criminal lawyer has a big impact on your earnings. If the government employs a crime lawyer, it generally has a lower salary than those employed in private practice who control the amount of fees charged to clients. Here is a list of three main types of criminal lawyers and their average salary: Prosecutor, Public Defender and Private Defender.

Public prosecutor

Average national salary: USD 49,918 per year

Main responsibilities: prosecutors are criminal lawyers who argue on behalf of the state to prove that the suspect is guilty of the crimes they were charged with. They conduct investigations, gather evidence and interview witnesses. 

Office defender

Average national salary: USD 60,839 per year 

Main responsibilities: Public defenders are government employees who are appointed to represent people who do not have a private adviser. Their purpose is to refute the evidence against your client, to argue for lighter judgments, and generally to advocate for the client’s legal needs. 

Private Defender

Average national salary: USD 89,961 per year 

Basic responsibilities: Private lawyers are employed by individuals who have been charged with a crime and do not want a public defender. Some private lawyers specialize in a particular type of criminal defense, while others work with each type of client.



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