If the police have provisionally charged you with a crime, you have a right to a defence counsel. A defence counsel is a lawyer who helps you during the criminal case.
The defence counsel's job is to be your adviser during the case. The defence counsel does not have to be objective, and his or her job is solely to safeguard your interests. This applies during the investigation of the case, for example, if you are interviewed by the police, as well as during the court hearings in the case.
The defence counsel will also be able to visit you in prison (prison visits) and discuss the case with you if you are in custody. Read more about custody.
On the following pages, you can read more about your options when choosing a defence counsel and about the role of the defence counsel during the criminal case.
You can also read more about your options for getting another defence counsel during a criminal case.