Criminal Defense

With many years of expertise in counseling businesses and individuals and resolving criminal cases, Le & Tran’s criminal defense attorneys are aware of and evaluate the risks that defendants may face as a result of being accused of an offense under the criminal code. We are confident in our professional knowledge and ability to successfully deliver legal advice and solutions to support enterprises in preventing potential and real accusations that may harm an enterprises’ reputation, image, and brand. Further, Le & Tran criminal attorneys are skilled at mitigating and defending against overzealous or unjustified accusations and penalties against individuals and rehabilitating the reputation of those we successfully defend.  With a creative and effective work ethic, our team of criminal lawyers are dedicated to delivering superior service to our clients.

What is a criminal defense attorney?

A criminal defense attorney is a particular specialization in the field of law and is defined as an attorney that acts as a legal representative of a defendant in a court of criminal law.  The primary goal of the criminal defense attorney is to work on behalf of criminal defendants, which can be an individual or organization (such as a business), to achieve the best possible outcome for a defendant’s case.

There is no need to obtain a separate certification or take an additional exam to become a criminal defense lawyer.  Any lawyer who passes the bar exam and is licensed by the government can defend an accused in a criminal matter before the courts.  However, criminal defense attorneys have usually dedicated themselves to (primarily) the practice of criminal law for a number of years and take an active role in its development.  Some even begin their careers in the government in the office of the procuracy or prosecutor where they prosecute offenders.  After learning the criminal law system in practical terms, these criminal defense lawyers move on to more lucrative work as a solo practitioner or a criminal defense law firm.

As such, there are a range of criminal defense attorneys for clients to choose from with different training and experience.  Some also have extensive backgrounds in particular subsets of criminal law, such as white-collar crime, which are typically involve financial wrongdoing or banned substances, rather than violent offenses or property damage.  As such, prior to retaining a criminal defense lawyer, the client should research the professional carefully to determine whether the attorney is suitable for your particular case.

What does a criminal defense lawyer do?

In general, a competent criminal defense lawyer in Vietnam works to defend their client’s interests by taking action in the following ways:

  • Quickly analyzing the allegations in all notices, pleadings and supporting documents to determine what immediate actions need to be taken;
  • Working in conjunction with the client, or if a business, the client’s officers, managers and employees to obtain a thorough knowledge of facts of the case and operations. The criminal defense attorney will then compare the current allegations with the facts and the law in order to build a holistic defense strategy;
  • Establishing and maintaining legitimate lines of communication with the prosecutor and relevant governmental agencies;
  • Representing clients during the investigation stage and being present during the taking of statements, inspection, identification, voice recognition or gathering of evidence by the government; Ensuring that the government follows proper procedures during these activities and that the client is aware of all of their rights under the laws of Vietnam;
  • Ensuring that the persons performing the investigation, such as inspectors, assessors, property evaluators, interpreters and translators, are competent and requesting alternate appointments if they are not qualified;
  • Collecting, preserving, analyzing, and submitting evidence, documentation, objects, and requests to protect the client’s privacy or operations and trade secrets of an organization;
  • Certifying that all proceedings are conducted pursuant to the provisions of the code of criminal procedure;
  • Summoning witnesses, experts, and other relevant participants to legal proceedings;
  • Presenting the client’s defense, cross-examining and clarifying the prosecution’s case, and ensuring that all procedures are followed according to the Laws of Vietnam;
  • Filing the necessary documentation to alter or dismiss penalties or coercive measures imposed on the client;
  • Appealing the judgment or decision of the court or regulatory agency if there are valid grounds;
  • Minimizing or avoiding negative media or publicity that may be generated concerning the individual or business;
  • Updating and strategizing with the client before, during, and after the proceedings to prevent or mitigate any impact on an individual’s lifestyle or career or the operations and long-term goals of a business.

As one of the most highly respected and competent criminal defense firms in Vietnam, Le & Tran thoroughly explores the facts and circumstances of every case.  At the same time, we carefully gather evidence with the long term goal of building your defense to counter the allegations and mitigate any penalties.

When do you need a criminal defense attorney?

For a business, it is strongly advisable to retain an attorney well-versed in criminal defense prior to starting a business.  A criminal defense lawyer will review all formation documentation, commercial contracts and operations and look ahead and anticipate obstacles that the business may encounter with the procuracy or regulatory agencies (ex. corruption and bribery, securities fraud, intellectual property infringement, merchandising banned commodities, etc.).  It is especially critical for companies with significant international transactions to seek preliminary legal advice from a criminal defense attorney with cross-border experience due to the differing legal framework and codes of conduct in each nation.

Nevertheless, for most businesses and individuals, the thought of hiring a criminal defense lawyer does not occur until a criminal investigation is underway or actual criminal charges have been filed by the government.  At this point, it is wise to immediately find the best criminal defense attorney possible to protect your interests.  The government usually has a high rate of successful convictions and this is partly due to the accused defendant’s failing to realize and exercise their rights under the laws of Vietnam.  A good criminal defense lawyer will quickly ensure that the government or agency follows the rules, does not infringe upon your legitimate rights, and is competent to collect evidence such as interviews, inspections, and property assessments.

What is the difference between a defense attorney and a lawyer?

There is a distinction, but the terms are mostly used interchangeably in the field of law.  Technically, a “criminal defense attorney” has been licensed to practice law by the government (or bar association) and can represent you in a court of criminal law.  A “criminal defense lawyer” is defined as someone who has been formally educated in law, but are not necessarily licensed or able to represent clients in court.

When considering retaining a criminal defense attorney, you should not focus on the terminology, but rather the background and experience of the professional and the firm he or she works for.  For example, has this attorney represented clients in a criminal matter before?  If so, how often?  Is it their primary practice?  What is their success rate in obtaining acquittals or mitigated penalties/sentences?  Do they have any testimonials from former clients or awards from the legal community?  These questions will serve as more effective guides when choosing the best possible legal counsel for yourself and your business.

How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost?

It is always prudent to have a criminal defense attorney versed in the relevant laws review your company’s production and operations before your business begins operations.  However, Le & Tran criminal law lawyers understand that until an allegation or governmental inspection creates an immediate need, hiring a criminal law attorney for most businesses is often seen as an unnecessary expense.  As such, when an investigation/allegation occurs, rather than set a high price for an emergency legal expense, we offer competitive rates that are set collaboratively with the client, taking into account the net worth, capitalization and future profitability/income.  Our goal at Le & Tran is to establish a long-term relationship with you and your business by earning your trust in our expertise, reliability, hard work, and efficiency.  We dedicate ourselves to the belief of founder Stephen Le, who has stated: “Any well trained lawyer can provide legal advice, but only an all-rounded professional can provide you with the tools you need to successfully reach your goals while complying with all the legal requirements”.  In short, Le & Tran strongly adheres to the belief that we succeed only if you and your business is successful.

How do you find a good criminal defense attorney in Vietnam?

You can rest assured that, Le & Tran’s criminal defense lawyers will be able to meet any challenge that you or your business is faced with.  Our criminal defense expertise extends into wide array of fields including unfair competition, corruption and bribery, employee rights violations, environmental crimes, false advertising and deceptive practices, merchandising counterfeit goods, money laundering, property damage, securities fraud, tax evasion and others.

Le & Tran’s criminal law practice also has an international reach, providing clients with advice that spans the South East Asia region and the globe.  Our criminal defense attorneys work with global clients in a wide range of sectors to resolve complicated regulatory and compliance issues, internal and government investigations, and defend against criminal prosecutions and enforcement actions.  In addition, we follow the international regulatory structure and current trends closely to provide your business with a cutting-edge advantage in operating in the modern business world.

Further, our clients have a unique advantage as Le & Tran is a multi-disciplinary law firm covering several critical fields of corporate practice.  Our criminal defense attorneys work closely with our tax, corporate and securities, appeals, and international and business litigation groups, which provide the support necessary to defend against any criminal allegations.

Due to its extensive knowledge of the legal regulations related to the various fields of criminal law, Le & Tran criminal defense law firm in Vietnam is the premier law firm chosen by enterprises and individuals for professional advice and defending against unfounded charges. With a team of criminal defense attorneys possessing over a decade of litigation experience in the criminal field, we can safeguard business owners in the event that the authorities perform a formal investigation.  In brief, Le & Tran is the best criminal defense law firm that can assist you to continue operations while overcoming these challenges.

Le & Tran’s internationally recognized criminal defense attorneys are available to answer any of your questions. Our main office is located in Ho Chi Minh City, the business center of Vietnam.  Please feel free to contact us at info@letranlaw.com to arrange a free consultation.