08 Jun Representing Yourself in a Criminal Trial Is Risky
After being charged with a crime, you’re likely weighing your options, trying to decide what the best course of action is.
Many people faced with criminal charges for the first time fear that they can’t afford to pay a good defense attorney, and they feel that a public defender won’t be much help, so they try to go it alone.
Representing yourself in a criminal trial is risky and, in some situations, can actually make things worse. The court doesn’t really take people who try to defend themselves seriously. You may end up harming your case far more than you could ever help it.
You want to get your charge dismissed or reduced, but trying to build an effective defense on your own is probably not the greatest idea. Here are a few reasons why representing yourself may not go the way you hope it will.
Your Emotions Will Get the Best of You
When you’re facing serious criminal charges, you’re likely scared of the consequences of a conviction. That will certainly motivate you to defend yourself to the best of your ability, but it will also lead to emotional reactions when the case may seem like it’s not going your way.
Your emotional reactions could turn a jury and judge against you, so it’s almost always preferable to have a calm attorney who can help you win your case.
You Probably Don’t Have the Right Knowledge or Experience
In most cases, fighting a criminal charge to avoid conviction is the right call, but the simple truth is that you probably don’t have what it takes to win a criminal trial.
You didn’t go to law school, you don’t know the rules of the courtroom, and you don’t know case law or have all the other important knowledge needed to win. And you probably don’t have the cross-examination, public speaking, and logic abilities that could lead to a win. But you can bet the prosecutor has those skills.
You Don’t Have the Resources to Find Expert Witnesses
Sometimes, to prove your case, you must find others to testify on your behalf. That includes investigators, medical professionals, and others who can speak about the facts of the case and analyze evidence. These professionals will act as a sort of evidence themselves, hopefully backing up your version of events.
If you don’t have the resources to find and hire expert witnesses, then it may just be your word against the prosecutor’s. A qualified defense attorney, however, will know exactly what to look for in an expert witness.
Meet with a Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer
It may be tempting to represent yourself in a criminal trial, but this is almost never a good idea. Even defense attorneys don’t usually represent themselves when they’re charged with a crime because it’s extremely difficult to focus on formulating a good defense when your freedom and criminal record are on the line.
You don’t have to do this alone. A criminal defense attorney from Crowell Law Offices can work with you to develop a plan and build the best defense possible for your situation. Don’t let anything keep you from protecting your future. Fill out the form below or call 916-303-2800 to reach a qualified attorney.