This article explains the options for appointing a solicitor in Spain following arrest
If you have been arrested in Spain you will be given the option of either calling a private solicitor or being allocated a duty solicitor.
The duty solicitor is not free of charge.
It is possible to apply for legal aid, however, in practice it is very difficult for a foreign individual to obtain.
The legal aid system is means tested and the income requirement is very low.
The application requires the submission of a lot of documentation.
A duty solicitor
In the vast majority of situations when a visitor to Spain is arrested they are unlikely to know a solicitor to call.
It is therefore most common for a duty solicitor to be appointed initially.
There are pros and cons to having representation from a duty solicitor.
The positives are that:
- The duty solicitor will have a minimum of 3 years relevant experience
- They will know the local courts
- Fees may be cheaper than a private solicitor
- They won’t need a Power of Attorney to represent you
The negatives are that:
- There is no requirement for the duty solicitor to speak English or any second language
- They don’t generally take time to explain the process
- Communications difficult. They don’t often call clients in another country
- Often lose contact with their clients
- Usually they do not prepare your statements or defence
- Typically do not put the extra effort required to obtain results
- Risk not to appoint specialist representation for serious matters
- Private solicitors likely to have more experience in criminal law
Choosing a private solicitor in Spain
Following the initial arrest and allocation of a duty solicitor, many individuals decide to approach a private law firm to seek more suitable representation.
Taking the above points into consideration, it is important to make sure that you appoint a solicitor in Spain with relevant experience.
The majority of solicitors in Spain work on a fixed fee basis. It is a good idea to request written confirmation of fees.
At this stage you may still not be aware of the process and the likely outcome.
It is important to ask as many questions as you have at outset.
Obviously it is an extremely worrying time and you need the full information.
How can Gascón Bernabéu help me?
Gascón Bernabéu benefit from an extremely active and well regarded criminal law department.
Our solicitors are bi-lingual and have a wealth of experience in criminal law in Spain.
Crucially we have a wealth of experience with representation of international clients.
We are therefore ideally placed to represent clients of any nationality in Spain.
We offer a no-obligation consultation.
You will be able to discuss your situation with one of our English speaking solicitors who will explain your case and the process.
If you need a solicitor in Spain, please don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.