Whether you’re dealing with personal injury or a custody battle, you may consider representing yourself in court. In your mind, this could save lots of money. Besides, you may not think that representing yourself is that difficult either.
There are many personal injury, divorce, wrongful death, unpaid wages, or criminal defense attorneys available for people in need. Still, some decide that representing themselves is a better idea. That’s mainly because of financial reasons.
But representing yourself in court can be a very bad idea. Here is why.
1. You May Be Influenced By Your Emotions
Humans are very emotional, and when confronted with certain sensitive situations, these emotions can get in the way. A court case can evoke feelings of anger or sadness and can put you under pressure. Other people are better at controlling their emotions and staying calm in such situations, such as attorneys. That’s because they’re not involved personally in the case.
When you are emotional in court, your arguments will be affected. You may suddenly start making emotional arguments instead of well-thought ones, which can greatly affect your chances of winning as you are unable to effectively attack the evidence presented.
2. Help Cannot Be Offered by the Judge and Court Staff
You may think that the judges and court staff will be able to offer you some legal advice. That is not the case, though.
Court clerks will be responsible for offering information and dealing with court records, but they cannot help with case strategy or evaluation or fill out firms. In this case, having an experienced lawyer by your side will be much better.
Judges may be willing to tell you about your rights, but that is not enough. In most cases, they will also advise you to hire experienced law professionals.
3. You Could Make Statements That Further Incriminate You
When you do not work in the law field, you do not have the knowledge and experience necessary to know what you should and shouldn’t do or say during a case. Therefore, you are bound to say the wrong thing, which can incriminate you even more.
Law is not easy to understand. It can be pretty difficult to navigate a courtroom. Because of that, formulating good statements can be a challenge, and if you say something wrong, it can lead to disaster.
On top of that, you might imagine that because you know the case so well, you will be able to represent yourself better than anyone. In reality, most people have not been to court before, and they do not know how to proceed with the case. You also have to consider the fact that the other party will likely hire an attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary for winning a case.
Therefore, representing yourself in court can be the biggest mistake.
4. You May Not Resolve the Dispute That Quickly
In general, a lawyer can reach a settlement faster because they know how to negotiate. Experienced lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to resolve cases and find the best solution for all parties. So, by hiring an attorney, you’ll save a lot of time and money.
If you represent yourself, reaching a good outcome may be more difficult, and it may take longer.
5. You May Lose Money
Even if hiring an attorney is costly, you might lose more money if you don’t win the case. Most people fear hiring legal experts due to how high their rates are. But spending that money is exactly what may help you win the case in the first place.
Lawyers use all their skills and knowledge to help you win and recover the money you deserve. The attorney fees will then be deducted from that amount. But by representing yourself in court, you are taking more risks and you may lose the case. With that, you lose time and a lot of money, as you have to compensate the other party.
The Bottom Line
Representing yourself in court when you don’t know what you’re doing can have devastating consequences. You can lose a lot of money and time, and may even have your reputation ruined.
For the best court results, you should hire an attorney with experience in the field. A legal expert knows everything about the court system, how the laws should be applied, and what you should and shouldn’t do during the case. Unfortunately, without an attorney by your side, you are bound to lose the case.