What should I do before I go to court?
If you have an attorney before your arraignment date, talk with your attorney in advance. The more your attorney understands about your case, the more he/she can help you.
Generally speaking, you should plan on staying at least three hours for your arraignment and in crowded courts you may be required to stay all day, until approximately 4:30 p.m. The courtroom is likely to be crowded and it may be a while before the judge gets to your case. Be early so that you will have enough time to find out where to go and to make sure you do not miss your case being called.
What are my rights?
Anyone charged with a crime has certain legal rights. You have the right to remain silent when questioned. You do not have to say anything about the facts of your case. If you do, your statements can be used against you in a court of law including during your trial. You have the right to the presence of an attorney during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Practically speaking, the appointment of lawyer for a defendant who cannot afford an attorney usually does not occur until the first court appearance. You have the right to be considered for bail except in murder cases.
How do I file a complaint against my lawyer?
In most countries, particularly civil law countries, there has been a tradition of giving many legal tasks to a variety of civil law notaries, clerks, and scriveners.These countries do not have “lawyers” in the American sense, insofar as that term refers to a single type of general-purpose legal services provider; rather, their legal professions consist of a large number of different kinds of law-trained persons, known as jurists, some of whom are advocates who are licensed to practice in the courts.It is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations that cover all the countries with multiple legal professions, because each country has traditionally had its own peculiar method of dividing up legal work among all its different types of legal professionals
Who makes the decisions about my case?
In a criminal case you decide whether to: go to trial or plead guilty, have jury trial or a bench trial, testify or maintain your right to be silent. In a civil case your lawyer should consult with you before making any settlement decision.
What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
If you are involved in a criminal case, in most circumstances you may have a lawyer appointed to you if the court decides you cannot afford a lawyer. You might also have the right to a court-appointed lawyer in some civil cases that involve the loss of a civil liberty such as a mental health commitment or loss of parental rights.A lawyer referral service is typically offered by state and local bar associations as a public service. The purpose of a lawyer referral service is to increase access to justice by referring members of the general public to lawyers in private practice or to legal aid organizations or agencies for a nominal fee. Increasingly, the public is turning away from these services.
How will I pay my lawyer?
In English law, a costs lawyer is a legal professional concerned with legal costs who has attained rights of audience and rights to conduct costs litigation.
Costs lawyers are concerned with all aspects of solicitor costs that are controlled by both statute and common law. They are concerned with costs relating to all areas of the law and deal with every conceivable type of legal matter that touches upon the subject of costs. A costs lawyer’s skill is as essential to successful litigation as that of a solicitor or barrister.
From January 2011, the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen changed its name to the Association of Costs Lawyers. The Association of Costs Lawyers was granted Authorised Body Status by The Association of Law Costs Draftsmen Order 2006 (S.I. 2006 no 3333) which came into force on 1 January 2007.