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Why You Should Never Represent Yourself In Court

Mercer County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

Have you recently been criminally charged and thinking of representing yourself in court? I’m here to tell you that you should strongly reconsider, as representing yourself can be a very bad idea and have long lasting, detrimental effects. While it might be tempting to act as your own counsel because it will be cheaper, it usually does not turn out the way you’d like.

Don’t Be Tempted To Represent Yourself in Criminal Matters

Representing yourself in court is called acting “pro se.” You may be able to get away with acting pro se when you’re dealing with small civil claims; but, when it comes to criminal cases, you should most definitely be relying on the skill and expertise of a Mercer County criminal defense trial lawyer.

Even if you’re well-spoken and feel as though you understand the New Jersey court system, there are many reasons why self-representation is not in your best interest:

  1. You need very specific knowledge to represent yourself in court. Becoming a Mercer County criminal defense trial lawyer is not easy. It requires graduating from undergraduate school and law school. After that, one must study for and pass the bar for the state in which he wishes to practice. It then takes many years of practicing law to become skilled at criminal defense. It’s nearly impossible for someone who has not gone through all that to know how to navigate the complicated world of the law. Courtroom procedures, criminal procedures, how you should speak, to whom you should speak, knowing when and how to object, etc. These are all things that a representative should have specific knowledge about when going into court.
  2. It takes great skill to act as representation. Again, honing the above skills take many years of practice. Crafting a winning legal defense strategy is not a simple task. It takes skill and expertise. Developing lines of questioning for direct and cross examination requires an intimate knowledge of the rules of evidence, and it also requires great skill in knowing how to best draw out the information you seek. You may be a great public speaker, but this is far from the only skill you’ll need when representing yourself in court.
  3. You may end up spending more money in the long run. Spending money on a criminal defense trial lawyer in Mercer County might be the last thing you want to do, especially if you feel confident in yourself to do the job. But you must consider the legal fees as an investment in your future and freedom. Hiring a lawyer to do what he does best (defend against criminal charges!) is not a waste of your money. On the other hand, if you choose to go about it yourself, you risk the high likelihood of losing against a skilled prosecution team and facing hefty fines, jail time (read: lost wages), permanent criminal record, and a damaged reputation.

Hire a Mercer County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer For Your Criminal Case

Don’t be tempted to represent yourself in court – once you’re convicted, it’s too late to go back! Mark Catanzaro has the skill and expertise to represent you in a wide range of criminal matters. Contact his office today to set up a free consultation.


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