When Can Officers Request A Duty Counsel In A Criminal Case?

Fighting a legal battle to prove yourself innocent in the eyes of the law is exhausting. 

From gathering evidence to finding witnesses – there’s a lot to do when it comes to fighting for yourself. The only way to get through the ordeal is to hire an experienced defence lawyer who can put forth arguments in your favour and get you acquitted. 

But what if you get arrested without any prior notice? As per Canadian law, police officers must inform you of your rights to counsel soon after the arrest. 

Want to know when police officers can request duty counsel in a criminal case? Then dive into the deets!

Duty Counsel In A Criminal Case

When Can Officers Request A Duty Counsel In A Criminal Case

Let’s say you’ve been put behind bars for a heinous crime you’ve committed but are unable to comprehend the language police officers are speaking. Understandably, neither French nor English is your first language, which makes it problematic for you to communicate with officers. 

That is exactly when officers can request duty counsel who is proficient in the language the accused understands to come up to the police station. Or, you can simply tell them that you’re not proficient in English. So, instead of trying hard to understand the problem, police officers will call for duty counsel as soon as possible. 

Canada isn’t a monoculture society; rather, it consists of people belonging to several ethnic and cultural groups. Thus, the right to counsel allows criminal defendants to ask for help if they struggle to understand English, which may be their second language. 

Duty Counsel Lawyers For Criminal Law Matters

Another scenario where duty counsel can help an accused is when they haven’t hired any lawyer to represent themselves in a court of law. In such a situation, duty counsel advises the accused about the court proceedings, legal rights, and obligations. 

Not just that, but it also helps with guilty pleas, bail hearings, sentencing and adjournments. Duty counsels are particularly beneficial for people who cannot afford the high fees of defence lawyers. However, if you wish to receive continued representation, you must qualify for the financial eligibility requirements and Legal Aid BC coverage

Wrapping It Up

Whether you’re levelled against theft, burglary or booked for fraudulent practices, getting yourself acquitted isn’t easy. 

A good duty counsel lawyer makes the accused familiar with legal procedures and offers them valuable advice. However, you must keep in mind that they cannot dedicate as much time as a personal lawyer would.

But, if you don’t possess the means to hire a personal defence lawyer, opting for a duty counsel to represent yourself in a court of law will be the best bet. Make sure you tell the duty counsel everything right from the beginning. This way, they’ll be able to fight in your favour confidently, and you might get acquitted without any trouble. 

On that note, we’ve reached the end of our guide on the topic. Stuck in legal trouble? Hire the best duty counsel lawyer today to win the case!