Yes, a lawyer can be expensive, but not hiring one can be just a costly if you end up spending time behind bars not working or paying out a large sum in a settlement. If you are charged with a criminal offense, you get legal help, so you don't have to go it alone, unless you choose to do so. This isn't very wise, and here's why.
You're Engaging In A Battle of Wits
You may have some knowledge of the law, and you certainly know all the details of your case, but up against a fierce competitor: the prosecuting attorney. He or she has completed law school and passed the bar, which unless you are an lawyer, you have not. This means the person you are going up against knows a great deal more about laws and the legal process than you do, or than you can learn in short amount of time.
Even if you are a legal buff, consider that fact that you have no courtroom experience. The prosecuting attorney has most likely tried other cases before a judge and/or jury. This means he or she is comfortable in the courtroom and less likely to flub up and make little mistakes, like an novice would.
You're At A Big Disadvantage With The Jury
If you think you'll gain sympathy from the judge or jury by representing yourself, you are wrong. The judge and jury cannot take that fact into consideration when deciding your case. So, you are actually putting yourself at a bad disadvantage. Not having legal counsel does not work as defense strategy, but it may work well for the prosecutor if you fail to prove your case.
You're A Lawyer, So What?
Even if you are an attorney, it is still not advisable for you to represent yourself. Not because of a lack of knowledge or experience, but because it will be difficult for you to separate the facts of your case from your emotions. If this happens you will not perform well in court. Having someone else, like Attorney Steven N. Long, P.C., represent you who can plan a good defense strategy and keep a clear head is best.
If you want to represent yourself because you cannot afford to pay for legal services, you can ask for public defender or court-appointed lawyer. A public defender is paid by the county or state, and a court-appointed attorney is paid a very small amount to represent you. However, these option are only open to people who will go to jail if convicted. You may also find a local legal aid office that can be of help, if you are facing a situation where you do not have these options for legal counsel.