No matter how tempting it may feel at the time, representing oneself in court is a horrible idea. The negatives will quickly outweigh any potential positives, despite what popular media may lead people to believe.
While one always retains the right to represent themselves in court – it is far better to allow an experienced defense lawyer to do so. Again, despite what popular media would say, a court-assigned defense lawyer is better suited to handle the case than somebody who has little to no experience in the matter. Even an experienced lawyer knows better than to try and represent themselves in court.
Those that are inexperienced in the ways of the court are significantly more likely to let something slip – especially when they’re leading up the case itself. Think about it, one of the many jobs that lawyers must handle is educating their clients.
Lawyers are experts when it comes to coaching clients. They instruct clients on what is safe to say and the best way to phrase statements. They have a solid understanding of how even a seemingly innocuous phrase can be turned against a person, especially in the court of law.
Without this advice, it is far too easy to overstep and let something slip. These vulnerabilities will be taken advantage of by the opposing side, which will ultimately hurt your case.
Lack of Experience and Knowledge
The average person would never dream of picking up a hammer and building their house with zero experience. Likewise, the average person should never consider representing themselves in court – even if it’s only traffic court.
A lack of experience and knowledge will negatively affect your case here; there’s no way around it. The laws that help this country run are complicated, as are court proceedings. The opposition will have experience and knowledge. Going in without the equivalent to match is a recipe for disaster.
One lesser-known benefit to hiring a lawyer is that they benefit from having no emotional attachment to the case. However, a person on trial is intimately involved in their own case. Thus, they are entering the courthouse in an already emotionally compromised state.
It should go without saying, but emotionally compromised people don’t always make the best decisions. It would be far too easy to allow emotions to cloud judgment, which in turn could have disastrous results on the entire case.