When you’re taken to court, it can feel like a really good idea to try and save on expensive legal fees by deciding to represent yourself. After all, you know the case and you know what the circumstances are, so why not? You know what the end goal is.
Self-representation in domestic relations court, criminal court, or any other type of court can appear to be an excellent way to save money on legal fees. In criminal matters, if you’re not guilty of the crime you’ve been accused of then you might not see the use in hiring a lawyer, but this is a decision that rarely works out how you intend it too.
Even if you believe your narrative is compelling, there’s no assurance that it will be accepted, and there are a few other reasons why this would not work even if you had a solid case.
There’s a good probability your fight will fail if you don’t have good legal representation in a child support, custody, or criminal proceeding, and here are some of the main reasons why.
You’ll Be At A Disadvantage From The Start.
There’s little denying that a custody lawyer, criminal attorney, or other local legal team with great experience and legal knowledge will almost probably lead the opposing party. These are usually local lawyers that know what they’re doing and have a strategy designed to win and bring you down. They’ll be far more knowledgeable about the law than you are, and they’ll have everything they need to build a robust case against you.
Therefore, you’ll be at a disadvantage if you don’t have your own legal representation.
Lawyers Can Communicate with Everyone Effectively
A lawyer will have the requisite practical experience to effectively manage a courtroom.
If you hire a lawyer, expect them to have a lot of experience dealing with other lawyers, cops, prosecutors, judges, and juries. They know what makes these people tick, what they work with, and what they’re looking for, and they’ll be prepared with a variety of techniques to ensure you get the greatest possible defense.
You’re Emotionally Involved in the Case
No matter how grounded and peaceful you think you may feel with the case you’re involved in; you are still emotionally involved, far more than any legal expert or sexual crimes law firm will be.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you’ll need someone on your side who can remain calm and level-headed when confronted with accusations that may be unpleasant or upsetting to you. When you represent yourself in court, you run the danger of becoming defensive, angry, or outraged when the allegations or evidence are given to the judge. In custody or child support cases, the stakes are high as well and non-attorneys can rarely handle such a confrontational setting.
In the courtroom, every word, movement, and expression will be scrutinized by the jury in a criminal trial (and the judge in a civil one), and even the smallest act can have a negative impact on the judge or jury’s verdict.
As you can see, there are some very clear reasons why you should nearly always get yourself proper legal representation when you’re going to court instead of representing yourself. It may feel like you’re saving money and you have what it takes, but at the end of the day, you’re going up against people who do this for a living and have trained very hard to get to where they are, meaning you have very little chance of succeeding.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!