What Are Your Rights When You Hire a Lawyer in Australia?

There are a number of people who prefer representing themselves in court because of the advantages of self-representation while others do it for lack of funds to pay a lawyer. If you opt to get a lawyer to represent your case, it is important to understand all your rights in such a relationship. You have to understand all your rights when dealing with your lawyers and what you are entitled to when being legally represented.


Lawyers, Ethics, and Money


Before accepting the services of criminal lawyers Townsville, ensure that you know the fees that should be paid for the services. It is not advisable to rush to a lawyer for representation in a panic as you could find yourself with a mammoth bill to pay. Most barristers usually charge fees ranging from $1000 to $2000 per day while the senior barristers (SCs & QCs) charge as high as $10,000 per day. You should be careful when choosing your lawyer in order to get a professional whose services are affordable. There are lawyers who offer free advice at first over the telephone while some also charge for such services. It is always important to find out what type of a lawyer you are dealing with.


If you cannot afford to foot your legal fees, you are entitled to legal aid by making contact to several bodies that offer these services. You must prove that you are on a low income and cannot afford to pay the services of a lawyer via a means test. Once your case checks out that you are entitled to legal aid, a solicitor attached to the body or a private one will be assigned to your case. You will be entitled to competent representation as the solicitor will be equally qualified like the solicitors in private practice.


Lawyer’s Professional Ethics and Duty to Court


It is important to understand that lawyers have a professional duty not to lie to the court and are loyal to the court. It is, therefore, important to note that despite the fact that you would be paying them, they cannot get instructions from you and tell the court another different story. They are officers of the court and hence they are bound not to mislead the court. The lawyer will therefore not lie to the court by saying something contrary to what you had informed them before. They will plead for leniency, reduced penalty or that you were acting in self-defense when the alleged crime was committed. Your lawyer will terminate their services if you insist on them doing unethical acts. Your lawyer will also not help witnesses to match up their statements with that of another witness in a matter.


Case Presentation by the Lawyer


When you decide to hire a lawyer for your case, your decision will be final on the way the case will be presented in court. You have a right to complain to the Bar Council, Law Society or Legal Services Commissioner if your lawyer presents an inadequate case in court. You have a say in how the case will be presented and argued in court. You have a right to fire your lawyer for any malpractice.


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