If I’m not an attorney but have extensive legal knowledge, can I sit next to someone in court who is representing themself and advise them?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I’m not an attorney but have extensive legal knowledge, can I sit next to someone in court who is representing themself and advise them?

My fiance has received a municipal ticket for 2.0 grams of marijuana. He wants me to represent him in court but knows that since I am not a lawyer, I am unable to. However, due to the widespread corruption in our area, he does not want a public defender. Especially for a case that I have managed to poke over 2 dozen holes in within 12 hours. (Although not a lawyer I do have extensive legal knowledge.) Is there a way he can represent himself, with me sitting with him in court as an adviser?

Asked on May 10, 2013 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, there is not. Giving someone legal advice--especially in court--constitutes the practice of law or, in your case, the unauthorized practice of law. You would be removed from the courtroom and be unable to participate, and could potentially face sanctions as well. Your father should hire a private attorney to help him.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption