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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.
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