Legal Aid Queensland coordinates free duty lawyer services in more than 100 magistrates and childrens courts throughout Queensland.
Criminal law duty lawyer
Our duty lawyer services aims to ensure that people appearing in court, after being charged with a criminal offence, have access to independent advice and representation. If that person pleads guilty, the duty lawyer will take their instructions and make submissions to the court on their behalf. However, if they want to defend the matter, the duty lawyer cannot conduct their defence and they will have to make an application for a grant of aid.
Duty lawyers do not represent people charged with drink driving or simple traffic offences, unless the person is at risk of imprisonment. Duty lawyers are selected from our legal practice or private law firms.
Family law duty lawyer
Legal Aid Queensland provides a free family law duty lawyer service in the Brisbane Family and Federal Circuit Courts. The service visits other Queensland towns to coincide with Family Court and Federal Circuit Court's circuit dates.
The service provides basic legal help to people self-representing before the Family and Federal Circuit Courts including free legal advice. In special circumstances and subject to demand, the service's lawyers can represent people in court for adjournments, short procedural mentions or they can assist with negotiations about consent orders for children or property matters. The family law duty lawyers cannot take on contested hearings or represent people at a trial.