Though some people have successfully defended themselves in criminal cases, most successful self-representations occur in the movies. In reality, most people who represent themselves in court quickly become overwhelmed by the complicated nature of the U.S. Justice System. Here are a few reasons why you’re best off hiring a skilled lawyer:
Unfair Plea Bargains
At some point during your criminal case, the prosecution will present you with a plea bargain, which permits you reduced charges and sentencing in exchange for a guilty plea. While plea bargains are advantageous in many situations, you probably don’t have the skill to successfully negotiate a fair one.
Ignorance of Decorum
If you’ve ever seen a legal drama on TV, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of courtroom decorum. For example, there are times when you need to stand, speak, be quiet, and you should always address the judge as “your Honor.” Mastering every aspect of decorum takes years of practice, and mistakes often hurt your chances with the judge and jury.
If you decide to represent yourself, you’ll be up against a team of experienced lawyers. Even if you believe that you have significant evidence in your favor, the prosecution can still find ways to influence in the judge and jury. That’s why you need a lawyer of your own to help present the facts more clearly.
If you try to represent yourself, you won’t get your message across as well as you could, and the judge will likely pass a harsher sentence upon you as a result. Hiring a lawyer, on the other hand, increases your chances of getting a lighter sentence or even a full acquittal.
If you’ve recently been charged with a crime in the San Jose area, don’t hesitate to contact Hinkle, Jachimowicz, Pointer & Emanuel Law. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience helping victims of circumstance clear their names. Don’t suffer an unjust punishment—call us today at (408) 916-1413.