Is it Ever a Good Idea to Represent Yourself in a Criminal Case? NO!! The Average Person is Unprepared to Face a Prosecutor Without the Help of a Trained and Highly Skilled Attorney.
Representing yourself in a criminal case is possible, but almost always ill-advised. In the recent case of People v Jeffrey Joe Shaw, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a trial court that denied the defendant the right to represent himself because he did not have the technical skills or knowledge to properly defend himself. The Michigan Court of Appeals determined that the defendant made an, “unequivocal, knowing, intelligent request for self-representation and there is nothing in the record to demonstrate that the defendant would disrupt, unduly inconvenience, or burden the trial court, and there was no finding of the trial court that made that determination.” Therefore, the defendant had the right to represent himself even if the decision was clearly not in his best interest.
Because a person is allowed to represent themselves in a criminal case does not mean that it is the right decision. More often than not, it is the wrong decision and most judges will tell the defendant that he or she is at a severe disadvantage without an experienced criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors spend their entire careers trying to get people convicted. They are trained, educated and experts at manipulating the rules to obtain convictions. They do not take it easy on someone just because they are not an attorney. If you are facing a criminal offense, having an attorney with you to protect you, your rights and your interest is the best decision to make. The idea “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” applies. President Abraham Lincoln famously said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have spent their entire professional career representing and protecting people charged with criminal offenses at the state and federal levels. They often find themselves trying to fix a problem that someone has caused themselves by attempting self-representation (or something done by a less experienced attorney). Self-representation or bargain hunting for lawyers is penny wise and pound foolish. If you are facing the possibility of incarceration, a criminal record, or other serious penalties – you need the best legal help available.
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the premier Michigan Criminal Defense Law Firm to Help With All Your Criminal Law Issues and Questions.
Representing yourself in a criminal case can be compared to performing a medical procedure on yourself with no medical expertise. Even if you had the expertise, it would still be a reckless to attempt to treat yourself. The cost of self-representation or bargain representation will likely be higher in the long run. The law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. focuses on defending people facing criminal charges, seeking expungements, or probation violations, and other criminal defense related cases. If the issue is related to criminal law, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can help you. Our attorneys have spent their entire career representing people facing charges brought by the Government. The firm’s attorneys are each award winning and highly experienced in the field of criminal defense. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the attorneys that other attorneys go to with questions relative to the criminal law. If you are in trouble, or someone you know is facing possible trouble, do not go it alone. Contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. the well respected, well recognized law firm with the track record of success. We can be reached at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our top rated attorneys will contact you.
“We Are Not Afraid To Win”
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.