Demand for the services of a solicitor will more than double tonight as the UK braces itself for ‘Mad Friday’.
Figures published by the national law firm, Stephensons, show the number of people needing the services of a criminal lawyer more than doubled this time last year; a 125 per cent increase on the average day in 2014.
The day is notoriously one of the busiest nights for pubs, clubs and the emergency services, taking its alternative name – ‘Black-Eye Friday’ – from the increase in alcohol related violence seen in towns and cities across the UK. According to figures released by Public Health England, more than £3bn is spent on alcohol in December; 25 per cent more than in November.
The rise in violent behaviour, drink driving offences and anti-social behaviour contribute to increased arrest levels across the UK, with criminal solicitors often called to provide legal assistance to those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Sean Joyce, head of criminal justice at Stephensons, said: “So-called ‘mad Friday’ is one of the busiest days of the year for our solicitors and we experience a huge jump in enquiries as Christmas party season reaches its peak.
“In the vast majority of cases, this phenomenon is directly attributable to over indulgence, where increased alcohol consumption can cloud a person’s judgement and cause them to act out of character. Many of those we are asked to represent are first-time offenders whose behaviour gets out of hand and results in a night in the cells, or even a criminal record.
“Even minor misdemeanours can result in life-changing consequences. You may be unable to apply for certain jobs or may find yourself barred from your local high street.
“Few people go out looking to get themselves arrested, but revellers should take care not to get carried away and keep themselves safe and out of trouble.”