Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

I was indicted on a Wildlife Charge, taking wildlife resource without consent,
it is a state jail felony in Texas. I was denied a court appointed lawyer, and
now have no idea with how to proceed. I cannot afford to hire a lawyer, and my
county doesnt have any pro-bono attorneys. Should I call the District Attorneys
office and try to negotiate a deal, or just represent myself in the case.

Asked on July 4, 2017 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The answer is a resounding "NO!"--don't represent youself for a felony. A felony means the possibility of one year plus in jail; unless you don't mind potentially spending a year in jail, hire an attorney. While an attorney will not guaranty a good result, it will substantially help you. Even if you have to borrow money from friends and family, with a year plus in jail on the line, you want every advantage you can get. I know from experience that I have gotten clients better pleas or dealst than they could have gotten themselves, due to my experience,  familiarity with the court and prosecutor, and knowledge of procedure; let an attorney help you, too.


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