Defend Yourself in Court
Have you ever wanted to save some money and use some of those argumentative skills or one year of a pre-law degree towards your own case in court? If you’re willing to work hard and feel capable, you can put forth your best effort at defending yourself in court. People do it all the time. Everyone’s situation is different and the cases may vary but in case you do decide to take on this challenge, take a few steps leading up to court date.
By defending yourself in court you are taking on a assignment. This helps give you the opportunity to claim your own independence and power. Pro Se (self representation) is not only a Constitutional right, but also a powerful tool to enhance your own self confidence and self-respect. When you defend yourself in court, you are taking on full responsibility for the benefits or consequences that may occur, but you learn how to speak for yourself in the court of law.
Before representing yourself in court, make sure you’re clear on a few things:
- Understand the difference between civil and criminal law. Civil law is between two people. So if you sue someone, the case is considered civil. If you are charged with a crime, it is a criminal case.
- Make sure to have witnesses and make sure they show up. To ensure that your witness or witnesses show up to court, be sure that they are subpoenaed. A subpoena will insure that your witness shows up on the day of the case. It’s one thing for them to say they’ll be there but another for them to actually be in attendance. If the person doesn’t show up and the judge asks if you are ready to proceed, reply by saying “No, my witness who was served a subpoena is not here.” Request that the court compel attendance. Never refer to the person or persons as your “friend”.
- Research the law. On occasion people are charged for crimes that may not be real crimes. Do your own research on the law. If the source of the law is unclear, request an arraignment and request that the court identify which section of the code you are being charged with. Do this before the court date listed on the ticket. Go in and see a court clerk to have it scheduled.
- Dress to impress. This one is probably a given. You always want to dress professionally for court. Wear a conservative style and make sure your hair is neat because you want to make a good impression, be believable and be taken seriously.
- Don’t damage or tamper with your physical evidence. Bring all documents or supporting pictures pertaining to the case. Be very careful with them.
- Know your standards. When charged with a criminal offense, the standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. If it is a civil case, the standard is “preponderance of the evidence” which is 51%.
In the case of a debt lawsuit, remember that the older the credit card, the harder it is to prove. All the proof is on the plaintiff, and most don’t have 50% of the evidence, if any at all. Do lots of research beforehand if you’re taking this large task on. Browse this site or purchase The Defendant’s Package to help you. Best of luck with defending yourself.