With so much legal terminology floating around, it can be confusing trying to understand which professionals perform which tasks. There are a number of different branches of the legal profession, but solicitors and barristers (known generically as lawyers) form the main two. Most lawyers train at university, then choose to specialise in a certain area of the law.
Criminal law solicitors in NSW are legally trained solicitors who specialise in criminal cases, and help clients who have been charged with a criminal offence or who need legal advice on matters of criminal law. Other areas which some solicitors choose to specialise in after university include family law, commercial law and property law.
What duties do criminal law solicitors undertake?
Criminal law solicitors can undertake a wide variety of different tasks within the field of criminal law. Often the first point of contact for clients who are having legal problems, a criminal law solicitor can provide legal advice, help prepare documentation, refer clients to barristers where appropriate, or represent them in court. Generally criminal law solicitors have had training in the field of criminal law, so they are better placed than a solicitor with more general training and experience to provide advice on criminal matters.
Criminal law solicitors can work as part of a larger law firm or organisation such as legal aid, or they can work in courts, advising people who don’t have legal representation.
What is the difference between a solicitor and a barrister?
Although solicitors and barristers complete the same university legal training, barristers specialise in dealing with courts and representing clients who need to defend themselves. Solicitors do sometimes represent their clients in court, but they generally concentrate more on providing legal advice and help with paperwork, such as preparing briefs and documentation for barristers. Solicitors often liaise with clients on behalf of barristers, and they may also visit their clients in jail or police custody to advise them, and help them with appeals and parole matters.
Can criminal law solicitors only work in their home state?
As long as they are qualified and have a practicing certificate and professional indemnity insurance in their home state, criminal law solicitors can advise clients across the country. Criminal law solicitors are generally aligned with the courts in their home state and work around particular regional areas. This is useful for clients, as they will have specialised knowledge of how the legal system in that state works.
For example, criminal law solicitors in NSW will often have personal experience with the different magistrates and judges, so they can advise their clients on the best approach to take.
How do I choose a criminal law solicitor in NSW?
If you need legal advice or help with a criminal law matter, make sure you find a solicitor that is qualified and experienced in criminal law. Before you engage their services, it is a good idea to see whether they have experience in dealing with cases similar to yours. Finding a solicitor with a proven track record of success in matters like yours can give you an idea of the possible outcome.
It is also a good idea to check the legal fees. Many criminal law solicitors charge a fixed fee for certain services, and this can save you from unexpected bills in the future.