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  • Writer's pictureNilima

What Is The Difference Between Prosecutor And Lawyer? Are There Similarities?

There has not been a single movie courtroom scene that did not turn out to be iconic or borderline remarkable.

There is a certain intensity in the way the courtroom players throw verbal missiles back and forth. It captures your interest as a viewer and engages you to the point of wishing to play a part in the argument. However, rarely do courtroom arguments turn out to be as specialized, technical, and humorous as Legally Blonde. But that does not stop courtroom scenes from being captivating. They are gripping.

Since 1962’s movie rendition of To Kill a Mockingbird, movie viewers have been intrigued by how lawyers and judges act when in session. With the rapid commercialization and widespread consumption of popular media came the free reign and view of various courtroom scenes and verbal battles.

Legal jargon became the new romantic language, putting it subtly. Viewers are in love with snappy lawyer comebacks and sudden, unforeseen revelations.

Still, even with widespread consumption, not everyone understood what the movie lawyers are explaining and reiterating. Simple terms like prosecution or prosecutor get confused with other everyday terms. There’s no shame in that. Law is already grueling, so let us make law-centric movies a learning experience.

Let us start with something simple. What exactly is the difference between prosecutor and lawyer?

The Answer is None. Lawyers And Prosecutors Are Both Lawyers.

Both lawyers and prosecutors are lawyers. They have completed their law degrees and passed the bar exam in a particular state they wish to practice.

It takes seven more years of post-high school education. Four years of which correspond to an undergraduate study, and three years for law school.

For undergraduate studies, most schools require a bachelor’s degree for entry. Typical undergraduate studies are law and legal studies, history, and social sciences.

The Law School Admission Test, or the LSAT, precludes your law school career. It’s a test that would measure your aptitude for studying law, and most law schools require applicants to take it. The majority of the states insist the lawyer candidate finish the Juris Doctor program in a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

After seven years of toiling and studying, you can now take the bar exam. The bar exam is the licensing exam for lawyers. A practicing lawyer of a specific state should have passed the bar exam of that state.

If a lawyer wishes to practice in another state, he has to take another bar exam. This bar exam is specific for the state he wishes to practice. Therefore, if a lawyer wishes to practice in multiple states, he should take several bar exams.

The Difference When You Say, Lawyer and Prosecutor

Although both lawyers and prosecutors are lawyers, there is still a contrast when referring to a lawyer or a prosecutor.

A lawyer in a case typically refers to a criminal defense lawyer. He represents the defendant. The prosecutor, on the other hand, refers to the lawyer representing the state or the government. Therefore, you can say that the lawyer and the prosecutor represent two sides of a case.

Additionally, this would also mean that their core difference also corresponds to a difference like their jobs. While the lawyer, specifically the defense lawyer, can represent a client in criminal and civil cases, a prosecutor can only deal with a criminal case. Accordingly, the lawyer works to defend the rights of the accused, while a prosecutor attempts to convict the person they believe is responsible for a crime.

More On Prosecutors

Prosecutors work for the government. He represents the state in all matters regarding criminal offenses. In the U.S., the prosecutor is also responsible for the police investigation.

They can work at the local, state, and federal levels. Because of this, they can work at different offices from the District Attorneys Office, Attorney Generals Office, or the U.S. Department of Justice.

There is a good selection of specialty areas for prosecutors. They can work in narcotics, homicide, domestic violence, sex crimes, appellate, or juvenile prosecution.

Work includes enforcement, legal writing, investigation, appellate litigation, and trial litigation.

More On Defense Lawyers

From the origin of the word itself, a defense lawyer specializes in defending the rights of the accused. They could either be private or public practicing, but their function remains the same.

In the U.S., Sacramento criminal defense lawyers deal with the intricacies surrounding a criminal investigation, charge-sheeting, sentencing, appeal, arrest, and post-trial work. A lawyer would specialize in a specific niche like driving under the influence or drug defense cases most of the time.

The law mandates that the accused should have legal counsel. Should the accused be unable to hire private legal counsel, the government will provide him with one.

There is great importance in having experienced legal counsel. We, in, can provide you with expert consultation and services should there come a time that you need one.

So, The Bottomline Is?

In movies, arguments and courtroom scenes proceed with such speed and flurry. It makes it difficult for people who haven’t gone to court to appreciate or recognize the personas involved in the frame. All in all, we have the judge, the lawyer, the witnesses, the accused, and the prosecution.

The judge presides over the trial, and the lawyer speaks for each party.

The lawyer, or the criminal defense lawyer, defends the rights of the accused. The prosecutor, on the other hand, tries to convict the accused.

Understanding the primary functions of the two helps you appreciate the film or the story more.

The legal profession has always been a fascinating industry. There is more to the sleekness of the lawyers’ suit and tie. There is something beyond the dignity of the judge presiding over the case. We can only appreciate verbal battles of wit and rhetoric when we have a skeleton understanding of the basics of their work.

It is always better to look beyond the bar. Learning more about how the justice system works down to its skeleton components improves cinema viewership and legal understanding.

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