Should I Represent Myself in a Criminal Matter?

June 29th, 2021
Should I Represent Myself in a Criminal Matter

In brief, the answer to the question in the title is “absolutely not.” There is an old saying attributed to several different sources that the person who represents himself (or herself) in court has a fool for a client. You should never represent yourself in court, and especially in a criminal matter where the stakes are high.

The reason you should not represent yourself in court is because you cannot learn the intricacies of the law without going to law school and having experience in court. Learning what you can through Google searches is not sufficient.

Even if you are a lawyer, you should not represent yourself in court for the same reason that doctors should not treat themselves or close relatives. You are too close to the matter at hand, and you lose your objectivity and your edge.

You should hire a lawyer who specializes in criminal law, and who is not related to you. Lawyers have rules to follow about conflict of interest. You want your lawyer to be 100 percent focused on your case and not on other business or love interests which can compromise the lawyer’s concentration and focus.

A good criminal lawyer will have many sound ideas for how to approach your case. It is also possible that your lawyer can get your case resolved before it ever goes to court. If your case does go to court, and independent criminal lawyer is your best bet for a good outcome. Never try to represent yourself in a criminal matter. Your rights and freedoms may depend on the outcome of your court case.

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.