What does pro se mean?
The term pro se is derived from the Latin language, translating to “on behalf of oneself” or “for oneself”. Pro se means to advocate or represent on one’s own behalf before a court, civil or criminal, whether plaintiff or defendant. Going into a court proceeding on one’s own behalf means that the decision was made to not hire legal representation.
Most courts will advise against the attempt to proceed in a court without legal representation. It is important to know that law, procedure, and rules that may have influence on your case can often times be extremely difficult to understand. The State of Indiana provides forms and guides for those who choose to handle a civil case pro se.
Why should I represent myself in court?
For some individuals, finances do not allow them to hire an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer. This is the main reason that someone would choose to represent oneself in court. On other instance, some individuals may feel that they know the details of their situation best, which is why they may have more trust in themselves than an attorney.
Why should I not represent myself in court?
The main reason that someone should not represent oneself in court, is that the laws, procedures, and rules are difficult to understand and navigate if not properly trained. An attorney is a trained professional, who understands what is entailed in a court proceeding. While you may feel that you understand some parts of the law, you may not know how to represent yourself in a court. You would need to know how to argue your position and persuade all involved parties that you are not guilty. If you are financially unstable and facing criminal charges, the court may appoint you an attorney. It is important to explore all options before making the decision to represent yourself in court. Could you imagine trying to act as your own divorce attorney in Indianapolis?
Is representing yourself pro se in your best interest?
Representing yourself in court could be detrimental to your case and potentially even your life. The court system is not easy to navigate. Attorneys are skilled professionals, there to advocate on your behalf in trying times. Indiana Criminal Defense Attorneys are trained to see all sides of an issue, in order to give you the best representation possible. If you think that you may want to represent yourself, it is recommended that you carefully review the rules of procedure, local rules, and pro se forms available to you by the court.