Updated: Jan 24
Just because you can, it doesn't mean you should
It is very important that you learn about what is at stake if you have a criminal case in California, and what you will be expected to do and know in order to represent yourself. Remember, there are many intricacies involved in a criminal case that you should be aware of and prepared for.
It may not be a good idea to represent yourself in a criminal case if:
You have a very complicated case and serious criminal charges have been filed against you.
You are going to have a jury trial.
You are influenced emotionally to the case and have a difficult time seeing things objectively.
The price you'd have to pay if you lose your case, both monetary and in jail time.
Regardless Of Where You Are In The Criminal Justice Process, Remember Your Rights:
To remain silent
To due process of the law before being deprived of life, liberty, or property
To humane treatment at all times
To speak with an attorney privately, even if you cannot afford to pay for one
To be read your constitutional Miranda rights
To be told you are being arrested and informed of any and all charges against you
Against unreasonable searches and seizures
Against excessive bail
“Just because you can, it doesn't mean you should represent yourself in a California criminal court.”
Understanding How The Criminal Process Works In California
If you’re under suspicion of committing a crime in the of California, the police will begin a criminal investigation. This process involves a comprehensive analysis of any evidence that could determine whether or not you committed a crime.