Self-Representation in Criminal Cases
We live in an age where high profile criminal trials are often televised on stations such a Court TV and various criminal investigation programs. Every so often, we come across a situation where an individual represents themselves in a matter. The choice of each particular defendant to represent themselves varies from case to case and rarely turns out well for the defendant. Our system of justice in the United States provides for representation of all individuals, and the inability to finance the cost of a criminal lawyer should never be the basis for self representation in a criminal matter. Unfortunately, many individuals accused of crimes erroneously believe that public defenders corroborate with criminal prosecutors in order to move cases or that they are unskilled. After practicing in Broward County for many years, I can tell you that this is absolutely NOT the case. Public defenders and prosecutors in this area are talented, diligent and ethical.
If you are considering representing yourself in a criminal matter, you run the risk irritating the judge, prosecutor and jury. This is primarily due to the fact that the entire process will be slowed ten-fold as issues about criminal procedure are routinely explained to you. Furthermore, our system of justice simply isn’t geared toward self representation. Even seasoned criminal defense lawyers are unable to contemplate just how they would gracefully go about conducting a cross-examination of a criminal prosecutors witness when he was also the defendant.