Should You Represent Yourself in Court in a Criminal Case?

Representing Yourself in a Criminal Case

I’ve been contacted by numerous criminal defendant’s who ask me, “Should I represent myself in court?”  Short Answer?  Yes, but only if you are not on probation and are only charged with disturbing the peace by loud noise (P.C. 415).  In all other cases you should retain counsel.  Why?  The ramifications of representing yourself may have life-long consequences that you never could have imagined.  Whether the consequences are deportation, exclusion from naturalization or denial of citizenship to loss of employment or custody of your children, representing yourself is always a bad choice…unless you are a lawyer.  However, even most lawyers accused of a crime or civil wrong retain their own lawyers.  Why wouldn’t you?  The main reason why defendants choose not to hire lawyers is that private lawyers are very expensive.  But so is the cost of freedom. 

Errol Cook, Esq.
21151 S. Western Ave., Suite 161
Torrance, CA 90501

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