Do you need to hire an attorney? Is the idea of pro se representation appealing or overwhelming?
The idea of paying an attorney may be daunting. When you’re facing legal trouble, it may be tempting to try to handle it yourself — after all, the legal system *should* be set up so that any citizen can participate, right? Is pro se representation necessarily a bad thing?
The system is designed to try, convict, and punish.
An attorney can help you determine whether there is a legal way to avoid conviction. Lawyers may be able to find defenses that you didn’t know were available to you, negotiate with the prosecutor for a more favorable plea bargain than you might be offered alone, and draft motions and other documents.
Your attorney is there to try to show the jury how to get to reasonable doubt so that you don’t get convicted, to make sure the state plays “by the rules” and only uses admissible evidence against you, and to keep track of what happens and preserve a record for any possible appeals.
Attorneys can be expensive but in many cases, it can be more expensive not to have an attorney.
If you decide to go to trial without a criminal attorney, here’s a handy guide to your right to self-representation. If you get convicted on your own of a felony or some misdemeanor offenses, be prepared for your presentence investigation.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.