Skip to main content

Can't afford a lawyer, should I represent myself?!

Navarre, FL |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I found a fone in a single bathroom & was going 2 give 2 the cashier, but instead I got pulled 4 drinks & the dance floor! Then cops questioned us if we had found a fone I said yes here, I was going 2 give this! But the girl pressed charges for Theft! I have a clean record, got denied a public defender cuz of a lien on my car exceeding $5000, my car is paid off I'm separated, no job & have 4 kids & I can't afford a lawyer, how do I get help?!

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Based on you post alone, representing yourself would be a BIG mistake.

You need to do whatever it takes to hire a criminal defense attorney--sell property, borrow money from friends/family.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

Mark as helpful

19 lawyers agree

4 comments

Asker

Posted

Ok I am going 2 try, my next court date is in Oct 10th!

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

DO NOT hesitate. Each day that passes it becomes a bigger challenge for your attorney, and you become more desparate. Contact your state bar association--they have a lawyer referral service desgned to match you to a lawyer in your area.

Asker

Posted

I've been given the pre trial diversion option, I didn't take it assuming I would b able 2 fight this & prove my innocence! But it is still avail 2 me! Now I'm just afraid if I try 2 proceed w/ my case, I will end up paying more $, than if I had just settled 4 the plea! I'm a military spouse, separated & can still speak w/ an attorney but they only b able 2 give me advise not represent me! Im really running out of time! I'm not so sure after reading everyone's reply! Principles has nothing 2 do w/ this, I had found a fone & picked it up! Didn't give it right away, because I had gotten pulled 2 the bar 4some drinks & then made our way 2 the dance floor! Not even mins later, cops were wanting 2 talk 2 us!

Asker

Posted

I've been given the pre trial diversion option, I didn't take it assuming I would b able 2 fight this & prove my innocence! But it is still avail 2 me! Now I'm just afraid if I try 2 proceed w/ my case, I will end up paying more $, than if I had just settled 4 the plea! I'm a military spouse, separated & can still speak w/ an attorney but they only b able 2 give me advise not represent me! Im really running out of time! I'm not so sure after reading everyone's reply! Principles has nothing 2 do w/ this, I had found a fone & picked it up! Didn't give it right away, because I had gotten pulled 2 the bar 4some drinks & then made our way 2 the dance floor! Not even mins later, cops were wanting 2 talk 2 us!

Posted

NO. NO. NO.You have to find a way. Representing yourself is a recipe for disaster.

John S. Riordan, Esq.
West Palm beach, FL
(561) 650-8291

John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

Mark as helpful

13 lawyers agree

4 comments

Asker

Posted

I was given an option 2 take pre trial diversion! That would cost money & have 2 do community service! I can't afford the time & money! :0( I don't think I should b punish 4 something I didn't do! I have principles & I had no idea being a good sumaritan would get u in trouble!

John Skyler Riordan

John Skyler Riordan

Posted

many people with principles in situations like yourself, turned down very reasonable plea offers and are in jail or prison. Principles can be painful, especially without a lawyer to guide you. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Omg! I can't afford 2 go 2 jail! If found guilty or not, I would still pay court cost plus pre trial diversion option, correct?! So in ur opinion, is it better 2 take the offer?! Even if I know I was innocent!

John Skyler Riordan

John Skyler Riordan

Posted

There is way too much unknown information for me to provide you with an opinion.

Posted

No, you should not represent yourself. With no prior record, you may be eligible for diversion, which would ultimately lead to dismissal. Contact a local attorney who can guide you through the application process, or, in the alternative, negotiate with the State on your behalf.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

12 lawyers agree

7 comments

Asker

Posted

I was given the diversion option, but I since I didn't think I should b punished 4 a crime I was accused of & spend that money that I don't have plus community svs

Asker

Posted

I was given the diversion option, but I since I didn't think I should b punished 4 a crime I was accused of & spend that money that I don't have plus community svs, it wasn't giving me justice 2 know some1 accused me of stealing their fone! The lady had said 2 me, she believed I didn't steal it, but because she had been stolen 4rm & that the attitude she got when asking my friends if they had found a fone, except 4 me, which she took offense of when they had told her they didn't have it! I'm not sure whether 2 just let my principles go & accept what is given in terms of accepting the plea! I know I didn't steal her fone & wasn't goin 2 keep it 4 myself or anyone! :0(

Asker

Posted

I was given the diversion option, but I since I didn't think I should b punished 4 a crime I was accused of & spend that money that I don't have plus community svs, it wasn't giving me justice 2 know some1 accused me of stealing their fone! The lady had said 2 me, she believed I didn't steal it, but because she had been stolen 4rm & that the attitude she got when asking my friends if they had found a fone, except 4 me, which she took offense of when they had told her they didn't have it! I'm not sure whether 2 just let my principles go & accept what is given in terms of accepting the plea! I know I didn't steal her fone & wasn't goin 2 keep it 4 myself or anyone! :0(

Asker

Posted

I was given the diversion option, but I since I didn't think I should b punished 4 a crime I was accused of & spend that money that I don't have plus community svs, it wasn't giving me justice 2 know some1 accused me of stealing their fone! The lady had said 2 me, she believed I didn't steal it, but because she had been stolen 4rm & that the attitude she got when asking my friends if they had found a fone, except 4 me, which she took offense of when they had told her they didn't have it! I'm not sure whether 2 just let my principles go & accept what is given in terms of accepting the plea! I know I didn't steal her fone & wasn't goin 2 keep it 4 myself or anyone! :0(

Asker

Posted

I was given the diversion option, but I since I didn't think I should b punished 4 a crime I was accused of & spend that money that I don't have plus community svs, it wasn't giving me justice 2 know some1 accused me of stealing their fone! The lady had said 2 me, she believed I didn't steal it, but because she had been stolen 4rm & that the attitude she got when asking my friends if they had found a fone, except 4 me, which she took offense of when they had told her they didn't have it! I'm not sure whether 2 just let my principles go & accept what is given in terms of accepting the plea! I know I didn't steal her fone & wasn't goin 2 keep it 4 myself or anyone! :0(

Asker

Posted

I apologize 4 the multiple post. It seemed like It didn't go through but it did!

Tracey Lyn Sticco

Tracey Lyn Sticco

Posted

No problem...I've accidentally done multiple posts myself. My best advice if you do not think you are guilty, diversion may not be the best option for you; most diversion agreements requires you to accept responsibility for the offense. You are entitled to take the case to trial, but understand that depending on the judge and prosecutor, you could be facing up to a year in county jail (assuming the value of the phone is between $100-$300). That choice is a decision only you can make. Best of luck to you!

Posted

You should consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area! If you cannot afford one you should request a public defender! Good luck!

The information presented is for information purposes only based on the information provided. An attorney client relationship is not formed.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

6 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

I have contacted one & cannot afford 3K 4 their service, that's a lot of money I don't have just 2 prove my innocence! I was also denied a PD due to owning a Vehicle that has a Lein exceeding 5K, I truly don't understand why I can't get qualified! Im separated 4rm my spouse & have qualified 4 govt assistance & yet I'm cant get one appointed 2 me! The vehicle is my only means of transportation for my 4 children! Yet it is being held against me! :0(

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics