03 Jan A Good Free Legal Aid Solicitor lawyer
Criminal legal aid is granted to Accused persons on the basis of their lack of financial means and the seriousness of the offence for which they are charged.
Case law over the years since the Act was passed in 1962 has added some nuances to why someone even in a straight forward case might benefit from having the services of a solicitor and even a certificate for Counsel in complex cases before the District Court.
If you are unfortunate enough to need the services of a good free legal aid lawyer that person should :-
1. Act professionally and ethically at all times.
2. Not tout you in a Court room or Courthouse by approaching you unsolicited for your case.Most of my colleagues are beyond reproach in this regard but it’s sadly a phenomenon I have seen increase in my 17 years in practice.
3. Apply for all of the evidence in your case (disclosure) and take full instructions on your defence, if you have one, interview any witnesses and investigate any matter within reason that will support your defence.
4.Should not mislead you on the law or your defence.
5.Should not counsel you to plead guilty if you are not guilty.
6.Conversely if you are guilty and want to plead guilty, you should be allowed do so in the earliest possible time so that maximum credit in mitigation is achieved. In my 19 years in the business I see far to many cases being remanded too many times.
7.Give you trial advice or mitigation advice in a clear way.
8. Appeal your case of you want to appeal and if you have have an appeal within time, either against conviction or sentence.
9.Give you a proper service and phone/contact you back when you call.
10.Not leave you in custody when you shouldn’t be in custody.
11. Not speak to the media or have any dealings with media without your specific consent.
This is merely Opinion and not legal advice !