Representing Yourself in a Criminal Case is Never a Good Idea

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing criminal charges in Chicago is always a scary situation, even if you have been charged with a crime in the past. Each instance is different because you never know what could come of the charges. One of the most important things you need to know is that representing yourself in a criminal case is never a good idea and you will see why with the reasons explained in this post.

Lack of Law Knowledge

First and foremost, you will not have the depth of knowledge of the law that a criminal defense attorney has. This is one of the most important skills you should have if defending yourself in court. It is likely you have no legal education, which means you will have trouble with legal terminology, court proceedings, how to introduce evidence and what to argue in defense of your rights in order to remain a free person. Your lack of knowledge of the law will not be tolerated in the least bit by the judge.

Appropriate Courtroom Behavior

Lawyers are trained in appropriate courtroom behavior, which includes how to speak to a judge, interact with a prosecutor, talk to witnesses and speak to the jury during opening and closing statements. Courtroom behavior is important, and when you do not have the proper training, it could lead to outbursts and speaking out of turn. This can cause a judge to rule that you are in contempt of court. This will not help your case.

Time is Not on Your Side

Time is not on your side when charged with a crime in Chicago. Depending on the severity of the charge and if you were able to post bail or not, you very well could be sitting in a jail cell from the minute you are arrested. This does not give you the freedom needed to speak with witnesses, interview officers, collect evidence, file paperwork or do anything else required of a criminal case.

No Access to Expert Witnesses

A lot of criminal cases that reach trial include the use of expert witnesses. These are people who are experts in their fields who can provide testimony regarding various issues with the crime committed. You likely do not have access to expert witnesses, which can be very helpful to having the charges against you dropped if they provide substantial testimony on your behalf.

No Experience with the Prosecution

A criminal defense attorney has experience arguing cases in court against the prosecution. More often than not, the attorney will have a track record of cases with the prosecutor assigned to your case. Having a working history with the prosecutor on your case can help move things along, especially if the criminal defense attorney knows what it takes to secure a plea deal or even have the charges dropped. It is likely you have never even met the prosecutor assigned to your case until you were charged with the crime.

The Intricacies of the Law and Recent Changes

It is part of an attorney’s job to study the intricacies of the law and keep up with all of the recent changes. This helps them avoid any surprises at an arraignment and then if the case goes as far as sentencing. You do not have the time or tools needed to study the intricacies of the law or any recent changes made, especially if you are sitting in a jail cell waiting for the trial to start.

Were you charged with a crime in the Chicago area? If so, it is in your best interest to have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you every step of the way so you do not risk your freedom. David Freidberg can walk you through the defense of your crime and answer all of your questions. Call the office at 312-560-7100 to schedule a consultation today.

image courtesy of Matthew Henry