Facing a charge of drink driving is always a stressful time. The majority of those that face this charge will never have dealt with police before, let alone faced a Magistrates’ Court appearance. A conviction can change your life, so it is vital that you make the right moves when choosing someone to represent you.
Solicitor or Barrister?
The main differentiator between a solicitor and a barrister is that a solicitor is a more general lawyer with the qualifications and skills to deal with all manner of legal work. They do not specialise in any one type of advocacy, but have authorisation to appear in the lower courts. Barristers, on the other hand, are specialist advocates with the training to appear in Crown and High Courts. They are able to appear in all types of court.
Nowadays, direct access barristers are available to the public. Traditionally, there was no way to instruct a barrister yourself; you had to do so via a solicitor. Now, you can contact a barrister directly to have them take on your drink driving case and give them your instructions. This will allow you to have a conference with the barrister before your hearing, as well as for the hearing itself.
Some barristers even have the authorisation to conduct litigation, meaning they can deal with the entire drink driving case for you in addition to the court appearances. Your barrister will attend the court hearing with you if it doesn’t clash with another court case, but if they can’t they will appoint a suitable substitute.
Choosing the right barrister
The best starting point is recommendations. Friends, family or work colleagues may have had a good experience with a solicitor or barrister, and if that person can’t take on your case directly they can usually recommend someone good who will.
An online search, such as on Barristers4U, will help you to find direct access barristers who have a history and specialism in drink driving cases.
When you find a barrister you think would be good, you can contact them. Barristers4U offers free, no-obligation quotes, where you can find out how a barrister will help you and what their experience is in dealing with drink driving charges.