The duty solicitor provides legal advice, assistance and representation to defendants who face disadvantage in court due to many factors. Unfortunately, people suffering mental illness often come into conflict with the law and a high proportion of those defendants will need the duty solicitor's assistance at an early stage of proceedings. This chapter provides an outline of the duty solicitor's role when dealing with people suffering mental illness and the legal implications for such defendants.
Further detailed information relating the role of the duty solicitor, bail applications, guilty pleas and sentencing can be found in the following chapters: Role of the Duty Solicitor, Bail, Guilty Pleas and Sentencing. Information relating to section 269 court listings, the Magistrates Court Diversion Program and the Treatment Intervention Court is contained in the Specialist Courts chapter. Specific information relating to young offenders is located in the Youth Court chapter.