Representing Yourself in Court Is Not a Do-It-Yourself Project

In the practice of law, defendants have the option of pro se (Latin for “on behalf of themselves”), Meaning they represent themselves in a civil or criminal case in court. Although this practice can save the offender the cost of hiring an attorney, the results are almost always disappointing and leave offenders wishing that they had retained a qualified attorney. Pro se defendants rarely win, and it’s not hard to see why. Oftentimes attorneys can turn to current court decisions to help them answer difficult questions regarding the law. Let’s see what the courts have to say about this issue of offenders deciding to represent themselves in court on criminal charges. The assistance of counsel is essential to putting your best foot forward on your day in court. United States v. Gonzalez -Lopez, 548 U.S. 140 (2006). The Court’s decision stated that representation by counsel is critical to the ability of the adversarial system to produce just results. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). The untrained defendant is in no position to defend himself, even when there are no complexities surrounding the defendant’s case. State v Sugar, 417 A.2D 474 (1980). Without the guiding hand of counsel, an innocent defendant may lose his or her freedom because he or she does not know how to establish his or her innocence.  

 As one can clearly see, our courts say that offenders should seek counsel when dealing with issues in court. Our attorneys at the Carmody law firm believe in the importance of the right to counsel and will work zealously to defend your rights in court.  

 What Are Some Advantages of Hiring a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney?  

 Attorneys spend three years at law school learning the ropes of the legal system. Even then, it takes years for someone to become familiar with the judge, objections, the jury, and forming questions. Here are just a few mistakes people electing to use pro se representation fall into every day.  


  1. The Best Defense  


If navigating examinations, objections, and case law sounds difficult, that’s because it is. Pro se defendants rarely ever win. The worst part is that many of these cases could be won if the defendant enlisted the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Attorneys spend a long time honing their skills so they can help others. Navigating the legal system is best left to qualified attorneys, such as the ones we have at the Carmody law firm.  


  1. Presenting the Evidence  

Attorneys will tell your story from your viewpoint. They understand how to weave their client’s story through the witnesses and the evidence. Someone who has never asked questions in court will likely find themselves stumbling through examinations, failing to show their side of the story.  


  1. Jury Selection  

Defendants representing themselves will probably have a difficult time if their case requires jury selection. When choosing a case, attorneys consider jury selections based on the facts of the case and the jury member’s backgrounds.  


  1. Objections 


An experienced attorney knows what’s allowed in court and what’s not. They know when someone is breaking the rules and will object accordingly. A pro se defendant will find themselves caught completely off guard once opposing counsel starts objecting to evidence or statements made in court. Someone defending themselves likely knows nothing about case law and exceptions to objections.  


What Should an Offender Do If They Are Being Charged with a Crime?  

 If you have been searching the Mississippi Area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years we have helped numerous defendants pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a crime is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and reduce the charges against an offender. Call/Contact us today for your free consultation to learn more. Please also see us on and view our reviews on,, and Our phone number is (601) 948-4444 option 1.  

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