Police arrest and assistance of a lawyer
AUDE CAMPION & WILLEM-JAN VAN DER WOLF
A duty solicitor, duty counsel, or duty lawyer, is a solicitor whose services are available to a person either suspected of, or charged with, a criminal offence free of charge, if that person does not have access to a solicitor of their own and usually if it is judged by a means test that they cannot afford one. The system is operative in several Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
These solicitors are generally in private practice, in contrast to the public defender system in the United States where an attorney employed directly by the state will be assigned to handle the case from pre-trial to potentially appeal. Similar schemes in the UK are the Public Defender Service in a few centres across England and Wales, and the Public Defence Solicitors’ Office for Scotland.