Three Reasons Criminal Defendants Should Not Represent Themselves

The internet is full of information, ranging from everything on how to repair your dishwasher to how to hang Christmas lights without shorting out your electricity. You can enter certain search words and be immediately directed to volumes upon volumes of instruction, and try your hand at whatever need you have at the moment. Some people are able to do this without incident, while others encounter problems along the way. Depending on what you are trying to “DIY,” you can give it a shot on your own, or you might be better off enlisting the assistance of a professional. If you have been arrested for a crime, you do have the right to appear pro se (meaning, represent yourself in Court), but doing so can have disastrous results.

Three reasons criminal defendants should not represent themselves are:

• Many cases have several court appearance requirements. If you miss a docket call, depending on the charges against you, it is possible to have a warrant issued or have a term of probation revoked.
• The prosecution will be looking to introduce all the evidence they have against you, but that does not mean all of the evidence the prosecution has gathered should be allowed into Court. If you are unaware of what is allowed and what is not, you might wind up having damaging information introduced that should have never been allowed to go before the judge or a jury.
• If the other side files a motion in your case, you need to know how to evaluate the content of that motion and be prepared to offer an opposing view, supported by legal precedent. This requires specialized knowledge in the area of legal research and writing, as well as knowing the Court’s procedure in how motions are heard.

Whether you have been charged with a marine life violation, a DUI, drug possession, or some other crime, let us put our knowledge and skill to work for you. We will make sure you are informed at every step in the process, and are prepared to appear in Court when needed. Call us today to go over your case.

If you have questions about criminal defense, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West.