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advantages of representing myself in a criminal case

Discussion in 'Justice System, Criminal Lawyers' started by midageceo, Aug 19, 2021.

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  1. midageceo

    midageceo Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    I have been falsely accused of a crime in california.

    I have been seriously considering representing myself pro se in a criminal matter but with an attorney hired to provide limited scope representation to give me any relevant advice.

    I currently have an attorney but I seem to know more than him about my case to the extent where I successfully convinced him to make a certain argument to dismiss the case at the preliminary hearing that he was initially unwilling to make.

    I have previously representing myself successfully twice in civil litigation. both times I made and received motions for sanctions against the opposing side.

    it seems like a competent pro se defendant would have some distinct advantages over someone who has an attorney.

    a pro se defendant could conduct their own jury selection process and potentially begin to win (or lose) the jury over during that early stage.

    a pro se defendant would not have to testify but could still, through cross examination of other witnesses, be able to get a version of the story in.

    do you agree ? what are some other advantages to being a pro se criminal defendant? we all know the pitfalls......
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    What is the crime you are charged with?
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Why?

    That stands to reason.

    Ok...you "successfully convinced" your attorney to make the argument, but I guess the argument didn't persuade the judge to dismiss the case, so the only thing your successful convincing achieved was to cause yourself to incur more attorneys' fees. Right?

    A good defense attorney has a much higher likelihood of doing this.

    Which would invite the argument by the prosecution that you have, effectively, testified and therefore ought to be compelled to sit for cross-examination.

    I can't think of a single one beyond saving money.

    Please also answer "justblue's" question (and provide a Penal Code citation).
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    And yet the argument apparently failed as you are going to trial anyway. That doesn't say much for your abilities.

    There are none. In a civil matter all you risk is money. In a criminal matter you risk your freedom.

    Like the old saying, represent yourself and you have a fool for a client.
     
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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    No I do not agree. A pro se criminal defendant is unlikely to be familiar with how to properly select a jury; the defendant may think he or she is doing a great job but most likely will actually end up messing it up because he or she won't know what to really look for when deciding what jurors to keep and which to kick off. The defendant is unlikely be very familiar with the rules of evidence and the rules of criminal procedure, putting him/her at a very distinct disadvantage to a prosecutor who spends all of his/her work hours prosecuting cases. There is an art to being really good at persuading juries in a trial. Few criminal defendants have the skills or experience to do that well. Even I as a lawyer would not represent myself in a criminal case. That would just be foolish.

    You have the right to represent yourself though, if you want. It may end up being a fast ticket to conviction, but if you really think you're better than lawyers who spend their careers doing this, then feel free to try it and see how it works out. Just bear one thing in mind: if you screw up your own case, you won't have any right to relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel nor any recourse against anyone for malpractice like you would if an attorney you hired screws it up.
     
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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Come on man, there are so many advantages.

    Take me, for example.

    I was arrestated and accusatory if being a cereal killer.
    Come on man, really, I said?
    I ain't no cereal killer, like that.
    Shore, I've eaten cereal all my life, but never stole no cereal, just eight it.
    I knew I weren't no cereal killer and I proven it to a shadow of a doubt.

    See that, buddy, a shadow of a doubt is like that unreasonable doubt.
    Fact is, everyone knowed me as Dude Be About It, No Doubt.

    So judge looks at me and axes, Is ewe smart enuff?

    I giggle like lil baby and crack back: Is ewe?

    That right their let he knew I ain't so dummy.

    Sumhow, time passes like on a watch, not a clock, and trial began with me as a lawyer for my defend.

    Well not gonna boar ewe in waist more time, I got to lawyering up in thar was getting my truths across to the high upper people even us low people's two, and was on a role. No joke, man, not for my life.

    Then other criminals seen I was four reel.

    When I showed them juries the pictures of unmolested, even unopened cereals, they was ready to verdict.

    The big shot head of the juries, she stand up and I announce, we ready to jury, judge.

    Judge look confuse by that announce, because jury run the courts.

    Head boss lady says, he no kilt cereal, his only eight it.

    So, ewe kin be your lawyer two, if in I done done it for me to be innocent.
     
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  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    That hurt my brain to read.
     
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  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I given ewe shorter vershun so I don't bee waist your time line.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Me thought me kept right liking this.

    Whatcha think?
     
  11. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Anyone who represents themselves has a fool as a client.

    It is the whole self incriminating, first or third person bound to be a 100 percent disaster.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Mmmm. One of my favorite movies. 1943. Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, MacDonald Carey. Lehar's Merry Widow Waltz playing throughout the movie.
     
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  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suspect our movie lists would be at least 90% of the same movies.
    I love movies from the 40s, 50s, & 60s.
    I enjoy westerns, military, WWII, legal dramas, murder mysteries, gritty gumshoe movies, etc...
     
  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Plenty of that with an Amazon Prime account. I haven't watched network TV in almost two years.
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    A pro se defendant probably has no clue how to conduct jury selection or what to ask during questioning, or how to manage and use challenges (for cause and preemptory), and how to protest discriminatory challenges made by the prosecution.

    This demonstrates your ignorance. A defendant (pro se or not) doesn't have to make testimony against himself. Attempting to insert a "story" into examination (direct or cross) is likely going to be shot down by the prosecution (and sustained by the court).
     
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  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There's very little left on the mainstream networks worth watching.

    I do watch Food Network because my spouse enjoys it.

    I like INSP, cable Encore Westerns, Starz Westerns, TMC, Grit, and FETV.

    I also have access to hundreds of movies, mainly westerns, detectives, mysteries, and military/war.

    I use Amazon, and my wife has Netflix - occasionally useful.
     
  17. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    It's been nearly 20 years since I last watched any actual TV. The last TV set I even owned was a small (13") analog CRT set. Stopped using it long before finally chucking it out when TV went solely digital.
     
  18. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Check out The Defeated on Netflix. I just watched it. Might be part of that 90% you mentioned.
     
  19. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    ///////
     
  20. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    spammer reported
     

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