Who pays for a duty solicitor?
Every individual in the UK has a right to a legal advisor and advice when they are arrested or detained by the police. This is a vital public service and a criminal duty solicitor is part of this essential legal support network, working 24 hours per day to ensure people are treated fairly in court.
The average salary for a duty solicitor in the UK is PS44,758. This is 6.1% above the national average advertised salary of PS42,185 and 62.8% above the current year-on-year change in all jobs.
What do you do if I can’t speak English?
A duty solicitor often encounters defendants who are disadvantaged by a language barrier. They may not understand the legal process, but the solicitors Benfleet needs to listen attentively and to make a good impression. This largely depends on the duty solicitor’s ability to glean essential information from their client’s story and to be able to provide them with accurate legal advice.
I have a long criminal record and I’m not sure what to do.
During a bail application or a guilty plea, the duty solicitor may be asked about a defendant’s previous convictions. In these circumstances, the duty solicitor must robustly put the defendant’s instructions but must not mislead the court about a person’s past history [see Professional Ethics and Court Etiquette chapter].
A criminal duty solicitor is an essential part of ensuring that alleged offenders have access to qualified legal aid and to a fair trial. This is a challenging role but also an incredibly rewarding one.