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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Case?

 Posted on November 30, 2022 in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerMany people who are accused of crimes wonder whether they can represent themselves in court. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of the ability to pay for a criminal defense attorney, a lack of trust in the public defenders, or a desire to rely on one’s own independence and understanding of the law. While any of these options may be tempting, ultimately representing yourself in a criminal case is a seriously risky endeavor. If you are considering being your own defense attorney, read this before you make the decision to represent yourself and go to court, potentially negatively impacting your life for many years.

Am I Qualified to Represent Myself in Criminal Court?

The Constitution of the United States of America protects every American citizen’s right to represent themselves in court. However, the Constitution recognizes that this is such a difficult endeavor that it also protects each person’s right to have a public defender appointed to them if they cannot pay for one themselves. Furthermore, a judge is required to make sure that a defendant is intellectually competent of understanding what it means to represent themselves, including the ability to read and understand the law.

So, while you may technically be allowed by the Constitution to defend yourself, you may not truly be able to do so in a way that protects you from the serious risks of self-defense. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Facing experienced, aggressive prosecutors - The team prosecuting you is usually highly motivated to secure a conviction. Each prosecutorial team handles cases differently, and without experience and awareness of the strategies the prosecutor in your case might use, you may be seriously underprepared for trial.
  • Not thoroughly understanding state law and precedent - In addition to understanding the text of the law, you will also need to understand the cases that have gone before yours to which the law applied. Many of the nuances of the law, and an understanding of how judges are likely to interpret the law in your case, will be lost without knowing the precedent.
  • Not knowing and following court procedures - You will be expected to follow the same standards and processes as a trained, educated lawyer. You will need to follow the same court rules, and if you do not follow the rules, you can be subject to penalties. The legal process can be very complex and difficult to understand and comply with.

Call a Jefferson County, WI Criminal Defense Attorney

Having an attorney on your side who knows your state’s law and is familiar with local prosecutors and their tactics is statistically proven to make a favorable outcome in your case more likely. Schedule a free consultation with an Ozaukee County criminal defense attorney with Bucher Law Group, LLC today and learn more about what we can do to defend your constitutional rights. Call 262-303-4916 now.




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