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Lawyers can't meet clients before being charged in Scotland ?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2022 1:32 pm
by pune
I have been reading a couple of Scottish novels. in it, both written by Stuart MacBride, it seems in Scotland. you cannot get a lawyer before you are charged and he/she/they cannot counsel you before your initial statement to the police. Is this true ?

Re: Lawyers can't meet clients before being charged in Scotland ?

Posted: Tue May 17, 2022 8:30 pm
by Virtual737
https://www.mygov.scot/arrested-your-rights/legal-advice-at-a-police-station#:~:text=You%20have%20the%20right%20to,while%20the%20police%20question%20you.

The site would appear to be completely at odds with the author: "You have the right to speak to a solicitor at any time while in police custody."

Re: Lawyers can't meet clients before being charged in Scotland ?

Posted: Mon May 23, 2022 11:34 am
by ChrisKen
pune wrote:
I have been reading a couple of Scottish novels. in it, both written by Stuart MacBride, it seems in Scotland. you cannot get a lawyer before you are charged and he/she/they cannot counsel you before your initial statement to the police. Is this true ?

No. Unless it's an exceptional circumstance, after arrest police must wait until legal representation is present before questioning can begin if it's requested. You can request legal council at anytime during custody, even if previously declined.

I'm assuming you're US based. so you may be confusing different terms/definitions and process. I would guess it's confusion over the fact that; you cannot obtain or be allocated an advocate/barrister (specifically the lawyer who defends you in court) until you have been charged. An advocate/barrister receives their brief from your solicitor/legal representation (all lawyers) all of whom can act as legal representation from point of arrest (or before).

Arrest isn't being charged. Charging only occurs during/after investigation leads to "the crown" authorising the charge(s) based on there being sufficient evidence that could lead to potential conviction

Re: Lawyers can't meet clients before being charged in Scotland ?

Posted: Mon May 23, 2022 11:49 am
by pune
ChrisKen wrote:
pune wrote:
I have been reading a couple of Scottish novels. in it, both written by Stuart MacBride, it seems in Scotland. you cannot get a lawyer before you are charged and he/she/they cannot counsel you before your initial statement to the police. Is this true?

No. Unless it's an exceptional circumstance after arrest police must wait until legal representation is present before questioning can begin if it's requested. You can request legal council at any time during custody, even if previously declined.

I'm assuming you're US-based. so you may be confusing different terms/definitions and processes. I would guess it's confusion over the fact that; you cannot obtain or be allocated a barrister (specifically the lawyer who defends you in court) until you have been charged. A barrister receives their brief from your solicitor/advocate/legal representation (all lawyers) all of whom can act as legal representation from point of arrest (or before).

The arrest isn't being charged. Charging only occurs during/after investigation leads to "the crown" authorizing the charge(s) based on there being sufficient evidence that could lead to a potential conviction.


Actually, in India (from where I am) where, in theory, people are supposed to be briefed by lawyers before being questioned by the police but doesn't happen most of the time unless you are wealthy or/and a big shot. I do know that in the U.S. you do and can claim and not doing so would be violating the person's constitutional rights. In the U.S. I do know that a detainee can also ask his lawyer during questioning by the police/cops.

Re: Lawyers can't meet clients before being charged in Scotland ?

Posted: Tue May 24, 2022 10:52 pm
by CPH-R
Depends on the era the novel is set in. Prior to the Cadder case in 2010, suspects in Scotland had no right to speak to a solicitor prior to being interviewed.