With crime and punishment regulations, it is aimed for the society to live in safety and security. Criminal Law, in which crime and punishment regulations take place, is a very comprehensive branch of law in Turkey. Lawyers who specialize in criminal law and take part in proceedings and cases arising from criminal law are called criminal lawyers. Although there is no legal branching in the legal profession, such nomenclatures are used in practice. Criminal lawyer in Turkey can serve as a lawyer on behalf of suspects and defendants, as well as provide legal assistance for victims as a participant.
The criminal lawyer undertakes the task of operating the legal procedure salubriously in criminal proceedings and effectively defending the legal rights of the person he/she represents. It is extremely important to seek the help of an experienced criminal lawyer in such cases, as criminal proceedings are those in which freedom-binding penalties are envisaged due to the sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the case.
If there is a suspicion that an act that is considered a crime has been committed, both the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement units start the investigation phase upon complaint or notice. In this process, evidence is collected and an investigation is initiated regarding the event in question. The person or persons suspected of committing a crime in the concrete case shall have the title of suspect. If the public prosecutor decides to proceed to the prosecution stage, he/she draws up an indictment regarding the concrete incident and forwards the indictment to the relevant criminal court. If the criminal court accepts the indictment submitted to it, the person holding the title of suspect becomes the defendant. The criminal lawyer defends the legal rights of the accused in the capacity of defense in the stated process or defends the legal rights of the victim as the lawyer of the complainant as a participant in the case.
Criminal Lawyer in the Investigation and Prosecution Process
The criminal lawyer, who ensures the legal representation of the accused and the defense of his legal rights during the trial phase, cannot testify by taking the place of the accused, but can ask questions on behalf of the accused, collect evidence and present it to the court where the trial is held, and make objections when necessary. In Turkey, a criminal lawyer can actually defend more than one person together, but if there is a legal conflict of interest between the people in question, it is not possible to defend all of them together. For example, in a criminal case, it is not possible to defend both the accused and the victim.
The criminal lawyer starts the necessary work before the criminal proceedings against the accused who receives legal aid from him, in other words, while the investigation process is continuing, and continues his legal work until the finalization of the decision together with the legal remedies process. Along with the attorneyship agreement to be made between the person and the lawyer, it can also be decided which stages of the criminal proceedings will be within the scope of defense.
Criminal proceedings that can be initiated by the public prosecutor cannot be opened by the accused, the victim or their lawyers. In such cases, the victim uses the right to complain or report, and the criminal lawyer defends the legal rights of the person to whom he or she provides legal assistance by carrying out legal defense activities during the investigation and prosecution phase.
There is a common but misunderstood belief in Turkey that criminal lawyers only defend the crime and the perpetrator of the crime. This perception, which is an established opinion in the society, is extremely wrong. Because the person who is seen as a suspect of a crime is considered innocent until the finalization of the decision at the end of the trial. So there is no definitive decision regarding the accused’s guilt until the trial is concluded. In addition, the suspect has the rights granted to him by the legislator even if he has committed the crime. The right to receive legal aid, which is one of these rights, is provided by lawyers.
The fact that the offender has the right to receive legal aid does not mean that that person will go unpunished. Even if he is guilty, it is so that the person does not receive more punishment than he deserves. For, just as it is not fair for a person to receive less punishment than he deserves, it is also not fair for him to receive more punishment than he deserves. Individuals have the right to use the rights provided by law. At this point, the criminal lawyer also provides the right to receive legal aid, which is granted to individuals by the legal order, regardless of the discrimination of the accused or the victim.
Investigation and Prosecution in Turkish Criminal Law
Investigation refers to the process initiated by the prosecution or law enforcement agency suspecting a crime and being aware of the crime. Everyone has the right to receive legal aid for the crime they are charged with, and this right is extremely important for the person. The person who is thought to have committed a crime during the investigation process has the title of suspect, and at this stage, some security measures can be applied on behalf of the person.
Security measures that can be implemented by the criminal judgeship of peace, law enforcement units or the prosecutor’s office can be expressed as; search, detention, arrest, interrogation and capture. The said measures must be carried out within the limits stated in the law and in accordance with the principle of proportionality. While applying these measures that restrict the freedom of the person, if there is an illegal and disproportionate action, the person may request legal assistance from his lawyer.
If the indictment against the person is accepted by the submitted court and a memorandum of understanding is drawn up, the prosecution process is started by assigning a hearing date for the trial to be held for the person. In this process, the legal assistance provided by the criminal lawyer for the person who has the title of accused is much more important.
Criminal Lawyer Fees in Turkey
For criminal lawyer fees in Turkey, first of all, the concrete case should be evaluated in detail. Because there is no fixed and definite remuneration foreseen for lawyers in criminal cases. In addition, the criminal lawyer cannot charge a fee below the minimum wage determined by the bar association while executing remuneration. The nature of the concrete incident and the crime, the workload it will bring to the lawyer, and other conditions and situations in the trial process are effective in determining the fee.