At your arraignment the judge will ask you how you plead (guilty, not guilty, or no contest) and if you have an attorney or need the court appoint you a lawyer (if you can't afford one) or represent yourself.
You have the right to represent yourself.
However, this in not usually advisable. If you represent yourself you may not know all viable potential legal defenses or how to present them. You are in a poor position to negotiate with the district attorney in your case as all your statements can be used against you. You will have to comply with all rules of evidence and court procedures even if you don't know the rules. You will most likely going up against an experienced district attorney.
Should you choose the public defenders office to represent you?
Public defenders are adequate attorneys. When your future and freedom are on the line is adequate enough? You can't chose your public defender, they are assigned at random. If you don't feel comfortable with the public defender assigned to you the best alternative is to hire an attorney that you do feel comfortable with.
Public defenders have a very heavy case load and often don't have the time to provide the kind of in-depth discussions that some cases need. This blog is not intended to disparage public defenders, they fill a very important role in our judicial system and are under-paid and over-worked help many people who otherwise can't afford seek justice in our system.
Should you hire your own attorney?
There are plenty of attorneys who will do little more that just try to talk you into the first deal the prosecution offers. A good attorney with investigate your case and file motions that are relevant to your case.
A good attorney with help you weigh the risks and potential benefits to going forward with your case. Some cases need to be set for trial, other will benefit from skillful negotiation to reduce the charges and limit your exposure to strikes, jail time, or other consequences such as registrations.
A skilled and experienced attorney will be in high demand so buying their services may seem expensive, but the right attorney will help keep very bad consequences.
Hire an experienced trial attorney who isn't afraid to fight for your rights. Remember you get what you pay for. If the price is too low your attorney won't go the distance, if you hire a skilled advocate to work for you it could save your life. The Visalia Criminal defense lawyer will take your case all the distance.
Only an experienced trial attorney will be able to evaluate your case as to the likelihood of results in a trial by jury. A capable trial lawyer is someone who has experience in the courtroom, has prepared a case for trial, demonstrated his ability to effectively argue cases before judges and juries, and win on behalf of his client. Only such an attorney has the experience and understanding needed to effectively evaluate the strengths and weakness of your case. This is an attorney who can weigh the evidence and who knows what it takes to mount a credible defense and to persuade others in your favor. A trial lawyer is a legal professional armed with the knowledge and background to assess what you are up against and make an informed recommendation about what you should do as a defendant. An attorney who rarely, if ever, proceeds to trial will not have the same proficiency.
Contact the Visalia criminal defense lawyer at the firm for capable legal representation from an experience trial lawyer today.