We live in a society that champions the DIY approach for just about everything. You only have to spend five minutes on Pinterest to find recipes for everything from homemade laundry detergent and sunblock, to instructions on how to build your own dining room table and weave your own hammock. While this wonderful variety of do-it-yourself crafts and projects probably saves a lot of people a lot of money, there are some things best left to the professionals. Things like surgery, electrical power line repairs, dental fillings and criminal defense.
Can you defend yourself in a Michigan court?
Yes you can. But ‘can’ and ‘should’ are not the same thing! You can also drive off a cliff, cut off your foot with a chainsaw, and go on a starvation diet. But we think you’ll agree that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it! And when it comes to being your own defense lawyer in a criminal case, it’s a very clear case of you can do, but shouldn’t!
Defending yourself is referred to as “Pro Se”. This means “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf” and it’s applied to people who choose to practice law on their own case. Sometimes also referred to as propria persona, which is abbreviated to “pro per,” this term applies to anyone silly enough to serve as their own legal counsel during a court proceeding. (Terrible idea, guys! No jokes, it’s a really bad one! But don’t take our word for it; just head over to your closest state prison and talk to some of the inmates there that tried to practice law rather than leaving it to the experts.)
The law is very complex, and court procedure is very specific!
The law is complicated, and the courts are very particular about how legal proceedings should be handled. Just because you own a nice suit and have read a few John Grisham novels, doesn’t mean you can play at being a lawyer. Lawyers go to school for years, in a highly competitive environment, just to learn the basics. Then they need years of experience before they can truly handle criminal cases with success.
Legally Blond was a fun movie, but this is real life. Preparing for a trial is a major ordeal that requires a lot of experience, and a real understanding of the law, court rules, rules of evidence, case rulings and so on. You need to be familiar with the case law relative to your specific charge; with Michigan’s current statutes (which change regularly), with court procedure, and with the facts of the case. You have to study all the elements of a crime as the proper way to select a jury. You need to know the Michigan rules about evidence like the back of your hand, and the witnesses like your best friends. And without years of training and experience, you simply can’t do it!
Hiring an attorney should NEVER be seen as optional in a criminal case!
If you’ve been accused of a crime in Michigan, and you’re hoping to avoid jail or prison, you shouldn’t stop to consider whether or not to hire an attorney. The only issue you should be debating is which lawyer to hire. The part where you get a lawyer to represent you should be a foregone conclusion! Seriously, if you’re hoping to achieve a positive outcome in your case, don’t try to take it on yourself! Even the brightest lawyers are not foolish enough to represent themselves. President Abraham Lincoln, himself a lawyer, got it right. He said that “a man that is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” Enough said. Done deal.
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in Michigan, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney with extensive experience. At The Kronzek Firm, our aggressive and trusted criminal defense attorneys have helped hundreds of Michigan residents facing criminal charges. We’re available 24/7 at 866 766 5245 (1 866-7NoJail) today to help you fight through this difficult time. We are available for immediate crisis intervention and emergency consultations.