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Why is it foolish for a defendant to proceed in a criminal defense matter as pro se?

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Filed under: Litigation

Queens County

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

The obvious answer - you don't know the law, rules of evidence, procedures, etc. and screwing up will cost you your liberty.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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Posted

Because it is much better to have an attorney - someone who can navigate through the legal process, procedure, is familiar with the court system, etc. Even a lawyer shouldn't represent themselves in a criminal case because you need someone that can take an objective legal approach to your defense. A criminal charge is not something you want to take lightly, so that is why you should have a lawyer handle it.

This answer should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship, and is for informational purposes only.

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Posted

As my colleagues have both said, not hiring a lawyer to represent you properly could cost you your liberty. I would strongly suggest you hire an experienced to represent you in court. Best of luck.

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2 comments

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

Atousa is right. As Abe Lincoln said a person who represents themselves has a fool for a lawyer and an idiot for a client. Good luck and get a lawyer.

Atousa Saei

Atousa Saei

Posted

That's a great quote that I will have to remember. Thank you for that.

Posted

I believe that only a fool defends him/herself because you cannot be objective in handling the case. As much as a lawyer cares about his/her client, he will be detached and non-emtional when advocating on behalf of the client.

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4 comments

James Hal Medows

James Hal Medows

Posted

James Medows, Esq. 125 Livingston Street Brooklyn. NY 11201

James Hal Medows

James Hal Medows

Posted

www.ny-defense.com 917-856-1247

Asker

Posted

What is the value of a pro se defendant being objective in a criminal court case in an adversarial criminal justice system?

Paul Karl Siepmann

Paul Karl Siepmann

Posted

the value is in assessing the relative strengths of the prosecution and defense cases to make a reasonable cost/benefit analysis with regard to everything from potential witnesses to the merits of a plea deal.

Posted

Because the vast majority of Pro Se defendants are not experienced criminal defense attorneys and even those that are, if they're not crazy or stupid, retain counsel.

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