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Should You Represent Yourself in Court

Should You Represent Yourself in Court?

By Hampton & Pigott
Posted on 8-31-2020

It is doubtful that you want to be involved in a court case at all. But if you are dealing with a tight budget or you are just feeling particularly confident, you may be tempted to just represent yourself in court. Is this a wise option, though? Is it really that hard?

Well, here at Hampton and Pigott we have years of experience representing clients from criminal law to family law and we want to highlight a few things you should think about before deciding to represent yourself in court, so that you do not end up in a situation that you do not want to be in.

The Other Party Will Probably Have a Lawyer

First thing to consider is the fact that the other party is most likely going to be coming into court with their own lawyer. This is bad for you because lawyers have extensive knowledge in the law and you most likely do not. This will only lend an advantage to the opposing party.

You Haven't Studied Law

Bouncing off the point made above is the fact that lawyers have spent years studying laws and court proceedings. They know how to skillfully and persuasively highlight certain laws that will aid their client, and ones that incriminate the opposing individual. Even if you are an avid fan of court dramas, the truth is that what Hollywood generally portrays is just that, drama. So, it is not likely that you will be able to successfully make counter arguments to your benefit the way a lawyer will be able to.

Do not Forget About the Paperwork

Not only are lawyers lending you their years of knowledge and experience, but they are also offering to remove the headache of filing tedious paperwork for you. Regardless of the manner of the court case, they always require a lot of paperwork. In addition, there are often strict rules and regulations for how and when paperwork should be submitted. One page of missing paperwork could spell disaster for your case. Lawyers know all this and know how to complete the process effectively and efficiently.

Judges Will Not Make Excuses for You

Judges deal with a lot of cases in a day. Most will not tolerate an inexperienced individual coming into their courtroom and potentially clogging up their proceedings with that inexperience. If you choose to represent yourself, the judge will expect you to know the laws and court rules. And if you do not, it will not go well in your favor.

So yes, being involved in a court case is not fun like it is on tv, and it can put a dent in your wallet. But if you do not want to waste your time, money, or potentially ruin a part of your life, it is best to hire a lawyer. Consider it an investment in yourself. If you find yourself facing legal ​ events and would like to enlist the aid of skilled professionals, call us at Hampton & Pigott today. We have the experience you need.