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Why is it a bad idea to defend yourself in court?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If you get arrested on criminal charges, you may be tempted to save yourself some money and defend yourself on the charges. But this is an almost universally bad idea.

There’s a good reason why attorneys must go to law school and then pass the bar in order to practice law. The practice of law, and criminal law in particular, is complex and nuanced. Much can, and usually does, go wrong when defendants decide to be their own counsel in criminal court.

Unlike in civil cases where typically defendants only face financial penalties, in criminal court, there is a very real chance that you could wind up spending time behind bars if you get convicted. Even misdemeanor cases could potentially end with a jail term. You won’t be able to earn any money locked up.

You could miss out on a good plea deal. Defense attorneys often negotiate with prosecutors to get their clients liberal plea bargains on crimes that are far less serious than the ones for which they’re standing trial. But a prosecutor will be far less likely to negotiate directly with a defendant than with a fellow attorney. Some of these attorneys may be good friends outside of the courtroom and can arrange a plea over drinks after work or on the soccer field with their kids in tow.

A non-attorney doesn’t know the intricacies of the Florida criminal justice system. Frankly, it’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight. You’ll be at a grave disadvantage during the court proceedings.

Fortunately, we can help you prevent just such a disaster if you are facing criminal charges here in Hillsborough. Learn more about how we can help you prevail in court.