A defense attorney is the lawyer who is representing the defendant in court.
The term is used in both civil and criminal actions. In criminal matters,
a privately hired defense attorney is referred to as a “criminal
defense attorney.” If a criminal defendant cannot afford an attorney,
representation from a public defender is available because the Sixth Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to be represented by an
attorney. Civil defendants have no guaranteed rights to legal representation.