When someone represents themselves in court, it is called pro se. Before a court can allow someone to go forward without the aid of an attorney, they must perform a Faretta inquiry. This inquiry insures that the defendant properly waives his right to counsel. As the old saying goes “he who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
It is very dangerous to represent yourself. There are collateral consequences to your criminal case or plea that you may not be aware of. You could lose your license for 5 years, you could lose the ability to seal or expunge your record, and you may get a much worse sentence than if you were represented by an experienced Polk County lawyer that knows how to get the best result for your criminal case. You may even be entering a plea to a charge that under the criminal rules of evidence, the prosecutor could never prove against you!
Before you can waive your right to counsel, the court must insure that this waiver is knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived. The court must take into account your age, mental capacity, education, and competency before allowing you to represent yourself. I have seen people try and represent themselves in court. It is usually painful to watch because the pro se litigant does not know the rules of evidence or how to properly cross-examine a witness or the police. This week, the Fifth District reversed a pro se defendant’s five year prison sentence because the criminal trial court did not perform an adequate Faretta inquiry.
I am sure when that person went to their VOP hearing and decided to represent themselves, that they never thought they would end up with a 5 year prison sentence. Do not let his happen to you. Call for s free consultation about your criminal case and what defenses you may have to your Polk County criminal case.
CALL NOW AND SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED, AGGRESSIVE
POLK COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER.
CALL AND SET YOUR FREE OFFICE CONSULTATION NOW!
You will not have to drive to another county. Office - Lakeland, Polk County.
Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606