Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Q. Do I really need an attorney? Can’t I represent myself?
A. Abraham Lincoln once said, “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” The same can be said of defendants who represent themselves. Being your own lawyer is almost always a bad idea. If you are unable to afford legal representation, the court will appoint an attorney for you. The court will allow self-representation if it determines that you have “knowingly and intelligently” given up your Sixth Amendment right to counsel. However, you will be held to the same level of education and experience as an attorney. The court will not make any exceptions for your lack of knowledge or skill. An experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure that your rights are fully protected. Your attorney can effectively present legal defenses, and provide objective advice about how to win your case.