You have seen it in movies and on TV. The noble hero who has been wrongly accused of a crime decides to represent himself in court, turning the entire proceedings upside down as he fights to prove his innocence. In reality, things will be quite different. Defending yourself in court is a bad idea, and here is why.
The Law is Very Complicated
No matter how much research and studying you do to prepare to represent yourself in court, your knowledge is still just a fraction of the knowledge that any attorney holds. Not only did they go to school to study law and prove their knowledge of the intricacies of the law by passing the BAR exam, they also have invaluable experience that comes with having to research all of the cases they have worked as a professional. The law is complicated, and a lawyer’s job is to be an expert in the intricacies of it.
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An Attorney is Objective
One of the greatest tools an attorney brings to the table is objectivity. If you were to defend yourself, your point of view would be biased on every fact and statement, making it difficult to see other points of view. An attorney is dispassionate and objective, allowing them to see your case through the same light as the judge, jury, and prosecution. This allows a criminal defense lawyer to prepare counter arguments and see different angles to take on the case. Even veteran attorneys usually don’t represent themselves because of the importance of objectivity.
Legal Terminology and Court Proceedings Are Unfamiliar
The proceedings of the court and the legal terminology used has nothing in common with the way you argue with friends or talk to colleagues in the business world. No matter your amount of experience successfully arguing a point, nothing can prepare you for the exceedingly complex way of speaking and acting that is commonplace in court. A lawyer is trained in proper court etiquette, so hiring a lawyer is a good way to avoid ruffling the feathers of a judge who will be determining your future.
Cross-Examination is a Skill
Cross-examination of a witness is a skill. They could be unwilling to give you a straight answer or provide the necessary details you need. A lawyer is trained and has experience cross-examining witnesses, so they know exactly what to ask to get the answer they want. They also know how to frame a question to a police officer to make sure they get what they want to hear. Going into a cross-examination without experience or a strategy is asking for disaster.
There Are Grounds to Dismiss a Criminal Case
In certain instances, a criminal defense attorney could move to have a criminal case dismissed, either because of inappropriate evidence, poor police practice, or some other specific circumstances. If you are unaware of the unique circumstances that can get a case dismissed, you may be missing out on a golden opportunity to walk away from your criminal charges scot-free.
Get a Professional Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego
When it comes to criminal defense, don’t quit your day job. If you are serious about adequately defending yourself in the court of law, get a professional criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you live in San Diego, you can find incredible criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Elliott Kanter. If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a free consultation, give us a call.