What You Need To Know About Criminal Defence Barristers
Barristers in England are one of two types of lawyers in England, the other being solicitors. It is worth noting that barristers are advised by solicitors to provide advice or advocacy for persons being prosecuted in cases presented before the United Kingdom’s criminal courts.
Lesser offences like benefit fraud, possession of drugs or driving charges are listed at Magistrate courts, where solicitors are mostly active while more severe charges like supplying of drugs, murder, or fraud are presented before Crown Courts, one of the main domains for barristers. More difficult cases could reach the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.
Realities of a Criminal Barristers Job
It is vital that a criminal barrister possesses a sense of dramatic and theatrical timing. However, excellent oratory skills are just part of the bigger picture. Good time management, a level head, and tact are all essential skills a barrister should possess. At the same time, it is vital that a barrister be someone who can inspire a level of confidence in clients from different walks of life. This is important as some clients can be quite unpleasant, scary or tricky to deal with considering their backgrounds.
These law professionals often handle more than one case a day, and often at different courts. Often, the cases they are handling are poorly prepared by their instructing solicitors. At the same time, it’s common for barristers to have to deal with missing witnesses and defendants and to be handed extra cases at short notice. As such, adaptability and stamina are qualities a barrister should possess. The success of a case rests on how effective a barrister is when it comes to case preparation, and their awareness of the ever-evolving sentencing policies and laws.
While a career as a barrister is great, the starting pay for baby barristers on publicly-funded cases is quite abysmal. Barristers could make as little as 10,000 pounds annually for the first few years of practice. However, as they rise in rank and experience, the pay can be quite good.
It is worth noting that most experienced barristers are self-employed law professionals running private practices but operating within the charter of a set of Chambers. Such barristers operate under tenancy agreements and pay a percentage of their incomes or a certain amount of money (rent) every month – sometimes both – to be members of chambers. Chambers provide private barristers clerical support and accommodation.
Employed criminal barristers, on the other hand, work as employees of larger organisations within the private or public sectors. These professionals are typically paid a salary, and often handle cases on behalf of their employers only. Employed barristers are subject to the Bar Councilâs Professional Conduct Code, and their advice is only entitled to professional privileges rather than disclosure.
If you’re facing legal problems or have criminal charges made against you, and want legal advice, then it’s a good idea to find and engage a criminal barrister. Read on for more information on choosing a criminal barrister.
During your search for a barrister, you should find reviews such as those shown below: