An In-depth Look at Criminal Law With John Himmelstein

John Himmelstein
4 min readMar 29, 2021


A criminal defense attorney can help keep innocent people from facing legal consequences. By protecting individuals and companies safe from legal action, justice can be protected. A criminal defense lawyer like John Himmelstein can support the law by defending clients.

What Does A Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

Both private and court-appointed criminal defense attorneys can help win cases that go to trial. Private attorneys such as John Himmelstein investigate the entire case against their client while negotiating with prosecutors.

Deals that are frequently made can include the reduction of bail and reduced charges. Deal-making is a skill that is often necessary because of public and political pressure. Certain deals can be made to avoid overcrowded jails. By receiving a lighter sentence, defendants can serve less time in prison and may be eligible for parole.

Criminal defense attorneys have a wealth of knowledge that the average citizen may not understand. John Himmelstein can confidently represent a client in court by understanding plea bargains, admissible evidence, and specific case details. As a private attorney, he has been practicing law in Boston for over 35 years.

The Ins and Outs of Criminal Defense Law

Criminal defense attorneys must be aware of the pre-trial process. During the investigation period, a lawyer can help before the client has been charged. The sooner a criminal defense attorney is contacted, the better. A client that is not represented may not be able to comprehend the legal process on their own.

What Happens If A Lawyer Knows A Client Is Guilty?

The attorney-client privilege states certain confidentiality between a client and lawyer. If a client tells an attorney that they are guilty, but they are pleading not guilty, the attorney is likely to feel conflicted.

Depending on the jurisdiction, attorney-client privileges may vary. In most places, confidentiality holds up. That being said, a criminal defense attorney does not have to continue representing the client if he feels there is an ethical issue.

If a private or public defense attorney accepts the case, the lawyer must try to help his client get the best outcome possible. However, in some cases, a judge may ask an attorney about what a client has said if the client is believed to hurt someone.

Most defense attorneys will resign from counsel without sharing their client’s confession. Ethically, lawyers in the United States have an ethical responsibility not to intentionally elicit perjured testimony.

How to Prepare

Much of what a criminal defense attorney lies within the realm of preparation. Defense attorneys can spend a fair amount of time in the courtroom, but they also need to be able to research and communicate with clients.

All evidence must be professionally analyzed. By collecting facts, the defense can be at its strongest. Analyzing evidence is usually done among a team of other attorneys. By bouncing theories off one another, a sound defense can be argued. The most effective strategies are developed by law experts who understand forensic science and critical details.

After examining the case and any potential evidence, gathering witnesses is key. Expert witnesses and jury consultants are not the same, but both necessary.

Expert witnesses can help investigate a case to testify on the client’s behalf. Attorneys with years of experience often know forensic scientists, psychologists, and lab technicians that can help. Jury consultants are also specialized in court proceedings but in a different way.

A jury consultant can help criminal defense attorneys by selecting the best jury for the case. Attorneys are not permitted to omit potential jurors based on race, gender, or other demographics. A jury consultant, however, can help pick the most helpful jurors for the trial.

The Beginning Stage

If a criminal defense attorney is contacted during this first stage, they can help instruct the individual while authorities question them. This can be an unsettling process for anyone. If a police officer does not have probable cause before making an arrest, a criminal defense attorney can also help convince a judge to drop the charges. This can be a murky territory for many people.

The Trial Stage

Both public or private defense attorneys can defend a client in court. A criminal trial may feel daunting with witnesses and cross-examinations. In criminal defense law, an attorney is trained to assess all the evidence from both sides of the courtroom. This means that a trial lawyer understands the facts according to his client and also knows what the other attorney may try to use. Each case takes extreme concentration and laser focus to pinpoint the necessary details involved.

Criminal defense attorneys will analyze cases to identify a strategy. Once this is found, an attorney can discuss the pros and cons of the case with the client. This can include making sure they understand every option available, including plea bargains, if necessary.


After a criminal trial, the prosecution and defense will talk with the judge. This conversation will help determine the final instructions that are needed for the jury. A closing argument will be made to summarize all the evidence.

The conclusion of a trial can vary in time. Some cases only take a matter of hours, while others can take days. Depending on the case, an outcome will be judged by a jury of peers or only a judge. This can also factor in when a verdict is ready.



John Himmelstein

John Himmelstein is a Boston born trial lawyer who went to law school in Boston. He has been practicing law for 35 years.