Can I represent myself at my court date, for retail theft?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Belleville, IL

It's my first offense and it's consider a misdemeanor.. I don't want the charge to be on my record.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you could represent yourself. I could also pull out my own tooth instead of going to a dentist. The point is that you are much better off seeking the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney rather than taking a chance by representing yourself, especially since the outcome of your case could affect you for the rest of your life.

  2. Melissa I. Smejkal

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes but it's a horrible idea.
    Cookcountynotguilty.com

  3. Vijay Ratan Sharma

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Can you represent yourself-yes.
    Should you represent yourself-absolutely not.

    You need to be more realistic about this charge. When you say that you don't want to charge to be on your record, but you want to represent yourself.

    To a practitioner who has spent his life handling these type of cases this sounds close to asking, "can I perform surgery on myself without any experience and do it perfectly?"

    So to answer your question I'm sure you could do it yourself, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

    I'm actually getting my brakes fixed next week, I've handled drum brakes before, my car has ABS brakes. Instead of doing it myself I'd rather go to the guy who's done it 1000 times before.

    It's no different for lawyers.

    My Answers are only informational in nature and DO NOT constitute legal advice. This is a good thing because I... more
  4. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nothing worse to experiment on than your own future. So you can do it, and you can spend years regreting it. Hire a defense attorney, who will be your best hope of keeping it off your record.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more
  5. Michael Lawrence Doyle

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can. However, the bigger issue is whether this is a good idea. I say that it is not. You should have a trained professional.

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