Pro Per Advice

Pro Per status in criminal courts occurs when a defendant chooses to represent themselves in a criminal case.  This usually occurs at arraignment in a simple misdemeanor after the judge has reviewed and had the defendant sign a “Faretta” waiver/advisement. 

Pro Per status can cause many problems.  For example, in a DUI case, a defendant may not know that their jail time may be allocated towards their fine.  Pro Per criminal defendants may not know that the Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) may be good grounds for a wet reckless.  They don’t have easy access to their own police report, witness information, their rap sheet or the future effects of a guilty plea.  Also, many judges and prosecutors would prefer to speak to an attorney well-versed in criminal law rather than a lay person who may be intelligent, but doesn’t understand the difference a time-waiver and a Faretta Waiver.

The only reason to go Pro Per is if you don’t trust the “court-appointed” attorney and you don’t have enough money to hire a private attorney.   

Understanding the poor economy, most private attorneys will accept payment plans.  

Call me before you decide to represent yourself in a criminal case.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.

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