Self-representation in the courtroom is legal and may seem pocket friendly and lucrative, but it is not advisable and there are many reasons for it. A few are illustrated as follows:
You will be at a disadvantage:
There is a high possibility that your opponent will be reaching a lawyer, which means you will be representing yourself against an experienced, well-practised lawyer. True, you may know your case better than anyone else but, you lack the knowledge of how to present the case in the courtroom efficiently while the opponent, being a lawyer, will know how to prepare and present a strong case against you.
Lack of experience and knowledge:
Law is complicated and navigating the courtroom is tricky, which only a learned lawyer is able to do. It is highly unlikely that you have as much knowledge about the legal system as your opponent’s lawyer. They know about the system, are trained to learn the law, speak the law and move the courtroom in their client’s favour and so on. Representing yourself means that you are missing on the expertise and legal support and that means that you might weaken your case and tip the scale in your opponent’s favour. To make your case strong, a good solicitor who knows all of the above is necessary to have on your side to provide you with legal advice and present your case in the best possible light.
Possibility of incrimination:
There’s a high possibility that you might say things that can hurt your case since you are not an experienced and trained person in the legal system. The opponent is going to use each of your statements against you. A solicitor who has spent his/her entire life in the courtroom and legal schools knows how to object and testify and question the testifications presented. In such a case, you put yourself and your case at risk and end up being the guilty one in your case.
You lack the knowledge of the decorum of the court:
You are supposed to know and follow the rules and regulations of the courtroom and maintain its decorum. The judge will not have any leniency for you by considering that you are not a practised solicitor and you lack experience. The judge is a tie-breaker and is supposed to be impartial. So they will stick to the trial proceedings and your ignorance in trial proceedings will not be of help to you.
Judge and other court staff will not help you:
Court clerks work to manage and keep the court records updated and provide information regarding the same. They are not allowed to fill forms for you or provide you with any information regarding the case evaluation or help you with your strategy. The judge too, is not allowed to give you any legal advice. The most a judge can do is to take some time and tell you all about your rights. He/ She may also counsel you to take up a lawyer or seek a professional’s legal advice, particularly if the sentence can be an adverse one. So, if you represent yourself in the courtroom, you’re on your own.
Emotional investment in your case:
During the trial, you might be accused of something, and the opposition against you will present some pieces of evidence, and you may find them upsetting. There’s a high probability that you will get nervous under such pressuring situations and might get defensive. Instead of staying calm and composed and strategising on attacking your opponent’s evidence, you may get defensive and resort to making some emotional statements and reducing your effectiveness. Putting yourself in a position where you are at the mercy of the courtroom is never a good situation to be in. There’s a high probability that the judge may get irritated as well, and that can affect your case.
You will be saving money:
The idea of representing yourself may seem like a pocket-friendly idea. But, on the contrary, it is quite the opposite. As can be seen in the reasons above, you lack experience and knowledge and so, you can most likely lose the case and thus, bear with the sentence along with the investments made during the trials and proceedings. If you were indeed not guilty, then by engaging a lawyer you could have saved yourself from all that trouble and your sentence. Having a legal partner as early as possible is always advisable even if you are on a budget. For example before signing a contract, you could seek some legal advice and keep your interests safeguarded and avoid a courtroom trial altogether.
Osbourne Pinner has a team of trained and expert lawyers who have spent years learning all about the legal system and gained experience in their years of law practice. We can help you to use the pieces of evidence and object to the ones provided by the opposition, testify and conduct a trial. We are available round the clock, and if you are in a tight spot, you are welcome to seek legal advice and have a strong representation for yourself in the courtroom.