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Photo of Attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Pro Se in a Colorado Criminal Case – What is Pro Se and Is a Defense Lawyer Better?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2016 | Lawyer |

Denver Pro Se Criminal Case or Hire a Defense Lawyer?

Pro se representation is the name given to a Denver criminal defendant who decides to represent them self or go without a lawyer in court. Generally, this occurs because a person cannot afford a lawyer or decides they don’t want to work with a public defender who is too busy. Someone who represents themself in a criminal case is a prose defendant. Read more on Pro Se Record Sealing.

Why Pro Se is a Good Idea – Represent Yourself in a Criminal Case in Arapahoe County, Colorado

Pro se is free. That is the number one advantage. It costs money to hire a lawyer and that is a huge disadvantage of going the lawyer route. Next, a pro se litigant has direct contact with an Arapahoe County District Attorney and receives all the documents a lawyer normally would. Pro se defendants get to call all the shots and make every decision for their life. They have no one telling them what to do. They are 100% informed and 100% responsible for the outcome of their case. Some feel that they can tell their story best to a jury.

Pro Se Disadvantages in Douglas County, Colorado Court – Why You Should Not Represent Yourself

The most important disadvantage of representing yourself in a Douglas County criminal case is that the system has its own rules: The Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Colorado Rules of Evidence. In addition, there are hundreds of pages of defenses, definitions and crimes which are used in criminal cases. Much like lawyers go to accountants for tax advice, people come to criminal defense lawyers in Arapahoe County for legal advice. Finally, after defending hundreds of criminal cases, defense attorneys get experience on how to win cases. Imagine a car transmission repair technician who has worked on hundreds of transmissions. He knows what to look for and what to leave alone. If I tried to take apart my transmission, it is sure to be a disaster, because I have never done that before. Or consider a surgeon. Their training and experience are invaluable in the operating room. Lawyers have a college education and then three years in law school. Next, they must pass a state bar exam. Another disadvantage of representing yourself is bias. You can’t see the other side’s case or arguments very well.

Do You Really Need a Lawyer / Attorney in Adams County and Jefferson County Criminal Courts?

If you are given a traffic or speeding ticket, you can try to represent yourself. If you mess it up, you get a fine and points on your license. But when jail or prison is the punishment, don’t try it yourself. The stakes are too high in Jefferson County misdemeanor and felony cases. Plus, the bigger the case, the more complicated it is. Here are some sample questions to see if you are ready for pro se representation:

· Do you know the burden of proof in a Preliminary Hearing or who gets to have a Preliminary hearing?

· Do you know the standards for suppression of evidence in a criminal case?

· What are good reasons for jury selection “cause” objections or peremptory challenges?

· What are the obligations of a DA to disclose exculpatory material to you?

· When should a judge disqualify themselves from a criminal case?

· When are you entitled to a retrial if you lose and how long does the government have to retry you?

These sample questions are a few of hundreds which come up on criminal cases. There is simply too much to learn to do when representing yourself in Adams County Court cases.

Price should not be a reason to represent yourself pro se in a criminal case. Call our affordable criminal defense lawyers at 303-731-0719, to talk about your situation. Together, we can protect your future.

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