Monday, September 16, 2013

Should Your Represent Yourself in Court?

The American Constitution doesn't prevent individuals from representing themselves in court—which is defending their side of the story without the help of lawyers. Outside the United States, a famous example of self-representation in court involves former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, who had his 1940 conviction overturned despite strong evidence against him. As long as you're knowledgeable about the law, you can save money on legal fees by representing yourself in court.

However, whether you get to represent yourself in court is usually for the judge to decide. Experts say that judges assess four factors before deciding if plaintiffs and defendants are capable of representing themselves in court: age, level of education, English proficiency, and the gravity of the crime. If judges see deficiencies in one or all of these factors, they're most likely to appoint lawyers to represent defendants and plaintiffs in court.

There aren't many examples of self-representation in court files. If you're worried about the budget, remember that the law entitles you to a lawyer if you can't afford one. You can hear this part in the Miranda Rights. Unless you have a knack for civil or criminal law, hiring a lawyer is your best option to getting a good outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment