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Why should I avoid self-representation?

If you are facing prosecution for a criminal charge in Illinois, representing yourself in court may not be in your best interests. The criminal justice system does not favor alleged and convicted offenders. Self-representation may seem like a cost-effective solution to keep your legal expenses down. However, it can cost you more money, heartache and stiffer penalties in the long run.

Take some time to learn about how self-representation can affect your situation’s outcome. 

May not get a speedy trial 

The longer it takes for your case to go trial, the more time the prosecution has to gather evidence and build a case against you. You do not know enough about the legal system and the laws governing your situation to ensure a speedy resolution to your case. A criminal defense attorney knows what motions to file and procedures to follow to speed up the process and potentially weaken the prosecution’s case against you. 

You may make uninformed decisions 

Time may be of the essence in your criminal case, but that does not mean you should rush to make blind decisions that can come back and adversely affect you later on. When you represent yourself, you may not have the time to contemplate your options as thoroughly as you should., states Legalnomics. This can result in you making poor choices that can worsen your situation. 

Working with an attorney makes it easier for you to overcome the shortcomings and challenges you face in court and against the prosecution. Legal counsel can help you gain a better understanding of your circumstances, the consequences and your defense options. They can also protect your rights so you are treated fairly throughout your trial which can lead to fewer legal expenses, penalties and a better outcome.

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