The short answer is…..sure!
You can also give yourself gall bladder surgery if you really want to. But, it certainly isn’t recommended.
In all seriousness, this is a question that gets asked very often and for good reason. It is not easy to put your life in the hands of a stranger. It’s even harder to cut a check for a substantial retainer fee. However, before you start googling “how to be my own lawyer,” keep the following things in mind.
1. You probably haven’t done this before, but that lawyer definitely has.
Proper procedure and demeanor in the courtroom is an acquired skillset that you cannot acquire overnight. It is important to know the “little things” about the opposing attorneys and the judges. Lawyers, on top of having a strong knowledge of the law, also have a strong knowledge of the people involved. Keep in mind that, although your case seems “crazy” and is stressing you out to the max, that lawyer you talked to has probably seen it all before. As the old parable says, when you fall into a hole, fall in with someone who knows the way out.
2. Stress Sucks.
Whether you are facing jail time, the loss of money, or the loss of your kids/spouse, it is probably the biggest event in your life, at least at that time. Stress leads to bad decisions, especially when unguided. On top of all the consequences that you are facing, self-representation will also force you to conduct yourself as a lawyer and leave your emotion at the door. That is easier said than done. Lawyers are “all business.” And, while they are sympathetic to your situation, they know that the court system is concerned with facts and law, not feelings.
3. What if I Screw Up?
Unfortunately, judges are not allowed to give you legal advice. So, if they see you getting the “short end of the stick,” they really can’t do anything about it. However, they certainly do get angry when you come back a few months later, realizing you messed up. The judge wants you to have a lawyer. It makes things easier on them, and you.
These are just a few reasons why hiring an attorney isn’t just recommended. Most of time, it is essential. So, swallow that pride and let “the pros” do their thing.
If this helped you make your decision, be sure to call us at (920) 965-8210