When should I represent myself in court?
Certain court cases, particularly small claims and minor violations, can seem like good candidates for foregoing representation at first glance. When the amount of money is small or the fines will be minimal, removing the expense of employing a lawyer may seem like an appealing option; however, before choosing to represent yourself in court it is important to weigh the benefits and risks of doing so.
Benefits of Self-Representation
The main benefit – and driving factor for many who choose to represent themselves – is saving money on legal fees. Employing a lawyer to handle your case in its entirety may not make fiscal sense if the amount of money in question is very small. Minor traffic violations and small claims cases often will not involve a lawyer directly, but many choose to employ one as a consultant to ensure they are meeting all of their requirements and planning their case correctly.
Drawbacks of Representing Yourself
Though representing yourself may avoid some legal fees, it often can cost far more than it saves in the long run. Criminal cases, major traffic violations, custody disputes, and lawsuits are all complex procedures which are often fully understood only by someone highly trained in law. When you choose to represent yourself, you open yourself up to the possibility of misfiling, presenting the wrong information, and failing to effectively argue your side of the case due to lack of legal knowledge. Losing your case can result in ongoing fees and penalties, making consulting an experienced Flagstaff, AZ lawyer a worthwhile investment.
How a Skilled Flagstaff Lawyer Can Help
A licensed Arizona attorney can help you win your case in multiple ways. For smaller cases, a lawyer can act as a consultant and guide your legal strategy without joining you in the courtroom – which often costs less than full legal representation. In more complex cases, your attorney can both explain the intricacies of your case to you and execute legal strategy based on their in-depth knowledge to help ensure a favorable outcome in your case.
If you are considering representing yourself in Northern Arizona, call Vaughan S. Winborne first. He has over 30 years of experience with DUI law, family law, traffic violations, lawsuits, and much more and can help you determine whether representing yourself will likely be harmful to your case.