If you've been arrested and charged with a crime, don't go into court alone. You may think that you have what it takes to represent yourself, but that's not the case. Self-representation in a criminal matter can lead to serious complications for you. In fact, if you represent yourself, you run of the risk of making mistakes that will lead to your conviction. Here are four reasons why you shouldn't represent yourself.
No Experience With Procedure
When it comes to the criminal court system, it's all about procedure. There are specific procedures that must be followed throughout the criminal proceedings. Failure to follow those procedures can get you into trouble in the courtroom. While judges and clerks will give you some room for error when you choose to represent yourself, you'll still be required to understand and follow procedure. Criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in courtroom procedure, which means you won't need to worry about costly mistakes.
Limited Knowledge of the Law
If you've decided to represent yourself in a criminal matter, you need to rethink that decision. Unless, you've gone to law school, you won't have a great enough knowledge of the law to successfully represent yourself. Lawyers spend years learning the law and how it applies to specific cases. They know how to find case law that will help exonerate you. Without that knowledge, you won't be able to help yourself.
Danger of Self-Incrimination
If you're going to be representing yourself in court, you'll be presenting your case to the jury. That means you'll be doing the bulk of the speaking. If you're not careful about the things you say during the trial, you run the risk of saying something that the prosecution can use against you. Unfortunately, self-incrimination can be used to convict you. When you hire a criminal defense attorney, they'll present your case for you, which means your opportunities to say something that can be used against you will be limited.
Limited Access to Resources
When it comes to preparing your defense, you're going to need access to valuable resources. Unfortunately, if you don't have a criminal defense attorney, you're going to have limited access to the resources you'll need. For instance, there may be evidence that can be used to exonerate you but without a private investigator you won't be able to gather what you need. Your criminal defense attorney has access to all the resources you'll need to present a successful defense.