Reasons NOT To Represent Yourself in Your Indianapolis Criminal Case (Part 1)
If you are facing criminal charges in Indianapolis, you have the right to represent yourself. This is called going “pro se.” Representing yourself in your criminal case may seem like a cost-effective option, but before you decide to take this route, you should know that there are significant risks involved. If you are facing criminal charges in Indianapolis, it is best to retain a criminal defense lawyer, and the good news is that if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may have the right to have a public defender appointed for you by the court. In this first part of the article titled, “Reasons NOT to represent yourself in your Indianapolis criminal case,” we focus on five main reasons why you should not represent yourself in your Indianapolis criminal case.
The Legal System Is Complex
The criminal justice system is complicated. For example, there are countless laws that can impact a single case. Also, there are different rules of evidence and several filing deadlines, which, if not met, can affect the outcome of your case. Criminal defense attorneys have dedicated their time to mastering the complexities of the criminal justice system. Regardless of how much research you conduct, your knowledge is still just a tiny fraction of a criminal defense lawyer’s knowledge.
Conducting Investigations May Be Challenging
If you represent yourself in your Indianapolis criminal case, it will be up to you to conduct investigations and gather evidence. It can be challenging to conduct investigations and gather evidence if, for example, you don’t qualify to be released on bond or can’t afford the bond amount. An attorney can help with investigations and gathering evidence. They can, among other things, interview witnesses and work with private investigators to gather exculpatory evidence.
You Risk Overlooking Legal Defenses
There are some legal defenses to a criminal case that only a trained professional can identify. For example, you may not know if there was a procedural error during your arrest that you can use as a defense in your case. Also, you may not know if the police obtained evidence illegally. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly assess your case to determine all the defenses you can raise in your case. Going pro se and hiring an attorney could be the difference between getting acquitted and convicted.
You May Not Be Objective
One of the main reasons to hire an attorney is because an attorney will be objective. If you represent yourself, your point of view will most likely be biased. A defense lawyer will look at your case from the prosecution’s, judge’s, and jury’s perspectives. This will allow them to develop effective defense arguments to address the questions for the judge or jury or negotiations with the prosecutor.
Courtroom Experience Is Crucial
There are strict and unique rules when it comes to courtroom proceedings. Criminal defense attorneys have spent years sharpening their courtroom skills. An attorney can present your case in court in the best way possible. If you represent yourself in court, you can make a mistake that can adversely affect the outcome of your case. Even a simple mistake like failing to address the judge correctly or not objecting on time can harm your case.
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Contact our skilled Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Rigney Law LLC if you are facing criminal charges.