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Easley Law Firm

Is Representing Yourself a Good Idea? The Pros and Cons of Being a DIY Attorney

The Fairfax court system isn’t known for being lenient. In fact, some of the judges here are the harshest in the country. So when you receive a criminal charge for driving while intoxicated on the Capital Beltway or for having illegal drugs on your person, you may consider acting as your own lawyer when you go to court.

The problem is, you likely haven’t been to law school, or tried any cases before. You may have never even been in trouble with the law until now. Do you trust that you can provide the same legal counsel to yourself that a lawyer could provide?

The Good and the Bad of Acting as Your Own Attorney

Defendants consider representing themselves for a variety of reasons. If you are, consider the pros and cons before you do so.

  • Pro: Saving money. One of the biggest reasons people consider acting as their own attorney is to save money. Although it is true that attorneys aren’t cheap, there’s also truth in the saying that you get what you pay for. Not spending a lot of money isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly when your freedom and future are on the line.
  • Con: The prosecution will take advantage of you. The prosecutor has been to law school, has represented the State, and knows how to take advantage of a person who represents himself. The attorney won’t act lenient towards you because you don’t have prior experience. In fact, he or she will probably work even harder to expose your inexperience and convict you of a crime.
  • Pro: You’ll speak your mind. Acting as the lawyer and defendant in the case gives you free reign to say anything you want. You may feel that really speaking your mind and letting the judge know the truth about your situation may help. However, your inexperience in knowing what is helpful in a court of law can also hurt you.
  • Con: You don’t have the option of a plea deal. Without the help of an attorney, you aren’t able to negotiate a plea deal, which means you are stuck with whatever decision the judge or jury hands out.

Let the Easley Law Firm Work for You

The legal professionals of the Easley Law Firm have years of experience in helping those in Fairfax receive the outcome they deserve. Let us attempt to do the same for you.


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Easley Law Firm

  • 10521 Judicial Drive
    Suite 205

    Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: 703-865-6610
  • Fax: 703-842-6101
  • Toll Free: 888-386-3898
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