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Should I Defend Myself In Court? Will It Be Better To Represent Yourself, Pro Se?

Updated on May 8, 2012

Representing yourself in a Court case is a huge responsibility. Before you even think of representing yourself, make sure you educate yourself as to Court proceedings. Take the time to know how the Court operates before entering the Court to represent yourself.

Self representation is a step forward in realizing your own power and independence. Nobody should think about representing themselves if they do not have any idea how a case will unfold. You will need to be a brave person that has made a goal of standing up for yourself. You also need to be the type of person that can easily control your emotions.

Pro Se, (Latin for Self-Representation) is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. This right is a very powerful tool, that will boost your confidence and self-esteem if handled correctly. There are many benefits associated with the Pro Se representation, but this tool should not be attempted if the person thinking about a Pro Se representation is not a strong person or is easily confused or at a loss for words. It is important to be able to think quickly and make educated decisions on the fly!

Educate yourself on Court proceedings before attempting to represent yourself!
Educate yourself on Court proceedings before attempting to represent yourself! | Source

Take Responsibility

To represent yourself during Court proceedings, you need to be ready to take complete control over your own life. In order to gain any benefit from a Pro Se representation, you will need to be ready to accept responsibility for your own decisions. Once you are ready to take responsibility for your own life, you are ready to take the next step to represent yourself in a Courtroom!

If you are ready to empower yourself and speak for yourself, you are ready to stand your ground and handle any and all claims made against you. Even if you are represented by an attorney, all decisions made in a Courtroom are yours and yours alone. When you make your plea of guilty or not guilty, you will be standing by yourself, your lawyer does not assume any responsibility for the outcome of your case. At the end of the day, no matter what occurred in the Courtroom, your attorney will go home and sleep well at night as the results of your case will not affect your attorney at all!

Most people are in jail voluntarily

Empower Yourself

Before entering the Courtroom, make sure you have the skills to voice your truth in competent and convincing manner. These abilities come from a personal empowerment and confidence in oneself combined with knowledge and awareness of your surroundings. Although not difficult, very few people retain the skills necessary to successfully represent themselves in Court.

Because very few people possess these skills, the society of the United States has been turned in to a society that have relinquished their personal rights for government granted privileges. Even the ability to exercise their privileges has been handed over to an elite oligarchy of wealthy people or those with large social connections.

If you find are you unable to speak for yourself, you are powerless! All you can hope for is that someone will stand up to speak for you, by doing this you hand any personal power you might possess over to another human being. This person may hold themselves in high regard and care less what your life will entail.

This sense of powerlessness is not inherent in a child at the time of birth. It has come to be, due to hundreds of years of social conditioning. This loss of power in society is more prevalent on those in lower economic classes, those of minority races, and women!

It takes confidence to be able to represent yourself!
It takes confidence to be able to represent yourself!

Equal Under Law

The Declaration of Independence holds guarantees that every human being is equal under Law. Yet the challenge in our current times is to see that unfold at every level of society. It begins with the common man being able to stand his ground in a Courtroom and discharge any false claims made against him! To rely on another human being to speak, act, and make decisions for him, the individual has consented to waive their inherent rights. He will be taking a backseat to an Attorney whose interest in the individual resides in how much currency the individual is willing to give to the attorney.

You have the power to speak for yourself but you need to claim that power or it will be assumed that you have consented to waive your right to represent yourself!

The perfect opportunity to realize your power is when an entity files a false claim against you. When another human being tries to drag you in to Court by using a hired thug of a lawyer, in an attempt to take your wealth from you, this is the perfect time to show your confident and educated ability to STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!

The Law Works - Pro Se Representation

Educate Yourself

Some things that you need to educate yourself about is:

  1. The rules of procedures.
  2. Rules of evidence
  3. All laws that apply to your case
  4. The ability to research other cases that are relevant to yours
  5. All precedents that may determine how a judge will interpret your case

Other things that you should be aware of:

  1. The ability to write legal arguments
  2. The ability to draft legal forms
  3. The ability and confidence to interview possible hostile witnesses
  4. Argue your case before an audience that may be critical of you
  5. Control your emotions

All of this may seem like a daunting task. It may seem overwhelming. But if not done correctly, either by you or your attorney, you have the chance of losing your savings and property, your personal freedom, as well as your self esteem. This loss could be to an attorney or to another human being. Either way, any choices you make in a Courtroom will have consequences!

Educating yourself as to the ability to successfully argue a Pro Se representation in a Court of Law either with a hired lawyer or representing yourself, is a task that should not be taken lightly!

It is possible to be successful by representing yourself in Court cases!
It is possible to be successful by representing yourself in Court cases!

Do not make the decision to represent yourself without the confidence that you will be successful!

Do not make the mistake of thinking that defending yourself in a Court case is an easy task. In fact, depending on the case and your ability to argue it, it might be in your best interest to consult with a lawyer.

Once you enter in to a Courtroom, deception and deceit are common practices. Even if you decide to hire an attorney, knowing the details and procedures of your case will be a benefit. Do not allow your lawyer to represent you without your knowledge of what the lawyer is attempting to do.

All repercussions from your representation is going to fall on your shoulders as your lawyer goes about his business. No one in the world has more to lose from the outcome of your case then you have.

Not to say that there are not fair Judges operating within the Court system, but there is also the chance that the Judge that is prepared to hear your case holds a prejudice against individuals that attempt a Pro Se representation. It would even be possible that a Judge may hinder your case to allow their peer (Opposing attorney) the chance to win the case easily. Remember, Judges rise up through the ranks, starting as an attorney themselves.

The same principal should be applied to all lawyers, being human beings, it is more then possible that a lawyer will lie, attack your character, try to manipulate you through psychological methods. All for the reason of hiding the actual truth, and attempting to manipulate both the Judge and the jury. A lawyer is capable of resorting to any tactics for the purpose of winning the case! Although there are honest lawyers, it is best to maintain a strict awareness of any actions taken by your opponents that could harm your case.

If it comes down to combining a prejudicial Judge with a dishonest attorney, you will need to possess greater oratory and comprehension skills then your opponent, or you will need to acquire the help of a competent attorney!

What It Takes To Win In Court

Maybe you do need an attorney.

If you have any doubts about your ability to represent yourself, you may not have the skills necessary to realize the actual character of your opponent. If this is the case then you will not be able to identify prejudice against you coming from the bench. Should any of these things seem to be the reality of your case then you should at least consult with an attorney if not actually hiring one to represent you.

If upon personal scrutiny of yourself, you feel confident that you are competent enough to argue your own case, you should also be in a situation that you can correctly read your opponent and the Judges character. Should this be your situation you can deem yourself quite prepared to argue your own case successfully. Or you can decide if hiring a lawyer would be better suited to your needs.

Even if you determine that it would be better for you to be represented by an attorney, you may still possess the skills necessary to conduct your own research and analysis of your case. You should also be able to form your own arguments, this could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees. There is no need to hire an attorney if you are competent enough to do it yourself.

Even if you have acquired the use of a paid attorney, you should be able to instruct the lawyer on how you wish to have your case handled. The bottom line is that your attorney works for you! If this is not the case then you lower yourself to being nothing but a spectator in your own case, waiting for another human being to decide your destiny.

If you find that your lawyer does not consider your input in to your own case, then you have hired an attorney that does not hold respect for you. Do you have a chance of winning when your employee does not respect you? What chance do you have if your lawyer is not prepared to battle to the end for you? What is the possibility that a hired lawyer knows more about your case and the pertaining facts then you do?


The materials available on this hub are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. All materiel are copyrighted properties of the author and may not be used without permission of the author. ©

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    • cynthtggt profile image

      Cynthia Taggart 

      7 years ago from New York, NY

      Facts, facts, facts. No court can ignore the facts. Well written and informative hub. Thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Why Pro Se? Why represent your strawman? Better not to re-present anyone. Better to be Sui Juris (of your own right) and counter-claim.

    • Reality Bytes profile imageAUTHOR

      Reality Bytes 

      8 years ago from Freeman On The Land United States of America.

      Thanks tamron, An astute defendant would also possess the capabilities so inherent in the justice system. Not being the easiest victim is the key, question everything.

    • tamron profile image


      8 years ago

      You have to be real careful because investigators and states attorneys will twist anything you say to make you guilty. Even if your not guilty! They don't care about you. They don't even care if your telling the truth or not. They just pin it on the easiest victim they can.

      Great Info. Ping Ya


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