Don’t Risk Your Freedom by Representing Yourself in a Criminal Case in Los Angeles

by dana.smith on March 2, 2013

When you are charged with a crime in Los Angeles, your first question is probably, “How did this happen to me?” From you prospective, you are just minding your own business, doing what you always do, and suddenly you find yourself in jail facing a criminal conviction. You next question is probably, “Do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes, I do need a qualified criminal defense attorney.”

While it may be tempting to represent yourself, especially if the crime you have been arrested for is a minor misdemeanor, representing yourself is never a good plan. Few benefits are gained when you appear before a judge in Los Angeles without legal representation. The judge doesn’t feel sympathy for you and you don’t get any allowances for appearing on your own behalf. Your best chance of getting off or receiving a minimum penalty is to hire a qualified experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

Yes, Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Be Expensive, But Do You Want to Risk Going to Jail?

But, you argue, “I don’t have the money to pay an attorney.” Notoriously expensive, lawyers of any kind do come with a cost and criminal defense attorneys don’t represent criminal defendants on a contingency basis.  You could go with a public defender and be represented for free. But, do you really want to trust your freedom to someone who doesn’t have the time to devote his or her full attention to you and your case?

The most often situation where a defendant thinks they can act as their own legal representative is when they have been arrested for DUI. Unfortunately in California, a DUI conviction comes with some pretty harsh penalties that could affect your life for the rest of your life. A Los Angeles DUI attorney could conceivably get your charges dropped if that attorney can prove that there was a problem with the way you were arrested. Do you have the resources to do that on your own?  Probably not. My suggestion would be to find yourself an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney who can at best get your DUI charges dropped and at worst, negotiate a deal that spares you jail time. Even if you don’t hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney to represent you, you should take advantage of a free consultation of one to get a feel for just what you are up against.

R.J. Manuelian is an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney known for his zealous representation of criminal defense clients. An advocate for those charged with criminal offenses, R.J. is a high-profile Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who not only represents those accused of criminal offenses, but is a sought-after legal commentator and consultant and noted author and speaker, who believes that freedom is one of life’s most valuable assets. 

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