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What are the disadvantages of representing myself?

You may think that it is better for you to represent yourself when you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. However, doing so could leave you at a significant disadvantage. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony, the consequences of your charges can have a long-lasting impact on your life. By representing yourself in court, you are gambling with your freedom, relationships, future and financial security. 

Take some time to learn about the disadvantages of self-representation before you decide to waive your right to legal counsel. 

You do not have time to learn the law 

You do not have the time nor the luxury to develop a thorough understanding of your situation and how to successfully defend yourself. An attorney has education, experience and an expert understanding of the laws involved in your charges and knows how to use them to protect your rights and build a strong criminal defense. When you go to court, you need to defend yourself against a prosecutor who knows how to use the laws and evidence to convict you. A good criminal defense attorney knows how to counter the prosecution’s actions to improve the chances of you receiving less time behind bars, lower fines and lighter penalties. 

There are deadlines and court protocols to follow 

The courts require that the accused file certain documents and motions within a specific time frame. If you forget and miss deadlines, you could end up hurting your case. There are also certain protocols you must follow when dealing with the courts. It is easy to make mistakes when you are not familiar with court procedures. All it takes is one mistake to alter your fate in an undesirable manner. An attorney can help you to steer clear of these pitfalls so you do not have to worry about more consequences. 

It may seem like representing yourself in court can help you to save money, but there is much more at stake when you are facing criminal charges. You should not take chances with your situation. Consider speaking with an attorney about your circumstances to learn your options.

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
Gigliotti Plaza
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-935-0820
Fax: 724-779-6299
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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.