When securing the services of a criminal lawyer in Australia many people are unsure of what to expect from them, and what they have a right to expect. Law is a highly paid profession, so clients definitely have a reasonable expectation that their lawyer will do their best to represent them in the best way possible, especially when the client is paying top dollar for their services.
It tends to be the case that you get what you pay for when it comes to criminal law services in Australia, but here’s what you should definitely get when you criminal lawyer takes on your case.
A good review of the facts of your case
A good criminal lawyer should comprehensively familiarise themselves with the facts of your case, before offering you legal advice or advocating for you in a court room.
This should involve a complete review of your case, which usually involves them reviewing the charges brought against you. Reviewing the charges against you and their legal basis will help them to determine if there are any legal challenged they can level against the charges, or if the charges are legitimate in the first place. They should also look for issues or deficiencies in the way you were charged and how evidence was obtained – problems with the way charges were laid could lead to the charges against you being thrown out.
The review should also involve a review of all of the discoveries provided by the prosecution in your case, a review of any documents you provide and an interview with an relevant witnesses. Legal professionals should not advise you accept a plea bargain or proceed to trial ahead of a thorough review of your case, poor legal understanding of the facts involved could lead to an unfavourable legal result for you.
Legal advice should be objective
Once the legal review has been conducted you should expect unbiased advice from your criminal lawyer based on the legal strengths and weaknesses for your case and possible outcomes to help you make the best possible decision for how to proceed. This is often the point where clients worry or feel like their lawyer in not on their side. Your criminal lawyer is being paid to be your representative in front of a judge or the prosecution, but they also have a responsibility to deliver unbiased advice to you to help you make a decision in how you want them to proceed with you case – your lawyer is not there to be your friend, but rather to act in your best interests.
Getting the most favourable deal on the table
If you choose to plead guilty to the charges against you then you should expect your lawyer to act faithfully in trying to get the best deal on the table for you in terms of penalties or prosecution.
Your lawyer should advocate for you to get the most favourable sentence. The aim when pleading guilty is to try to minimize the impact on your life. This might involve your criminal lawyer trying to get a reduction on jail time, reducing fines, or trying to keep charges from appearing on your criminal record.
Availability and contact
When you are paying a criminal lawyer to take your case you are paying for a service, and you become their client or their customer. Good customer service should therefore be expected, whilst lawyers understandably cannot always reply to phone calls or email immediately you should expect same day responses as usually criminal charges are time sensitive matters that require quick responses.