Don’t have money for an Attorney? Go Pro-Se!
It is widely advised that the best defense for your case is through the use of an attorney, this much we know…
However, most criminal defendants either don’t trust their public defender will fight for their case or don’t have enough money to hire a private attorney. Saving money is one of the greatest advantages of pro se representation. Although, the average criminal defendant is unfamiliar with the requirements of law needed to prove that they are not guilty. This page will help familiarize you with Florida’s RULES & LAWS OF PROCEDURE in criminal cases.
What is Pro se Legal Representation…
Pro se legal representation comes from Latin, literally meaning “on behalf of themselves”, which means to advocate on one’s own behalf before a court, rather than being represented by a lawyer. This may occur in any court proceeding, whether one is the defendant or plaintiff in civil cases, and when one is a defendant in criminal cases. source
Going Pro se:
The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure (PDF)
TITLE XLVI – CRIMES – Ch.775-896
TITLE XLVII – CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CORRECTIONS – Ch.900-985
Relax…. You don’t go on trial next week! In most counties in Florida it takes roughly 30 days or so to go to arraignment. At arraignment, a Judge usually confirms your name, reads off a list of your charges and asks you ‘how do you plea?’ read more. You don’t need an Attorney at arraignment.
Court Case Tips
- You MUST APPEAR at every court case hearing you are requested to attend!!! You are representing yourself and no one else will be there on your behalf. If you do not appear for court, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
- Having all the details of your arrest written down in a notebook and organized in a way you understand is the first step in getting ready to defend your case.
- Get your Probable Cause Affidavit from the arresting police department. This form includes all the information, evidence, witness’ the prosecutors office will have against you.
- Stay on top of your criminal court case and court dates by continuously visiting the clerk of courts of the county of your case.
- Find the Florida Statute number of the crime your being accused of and learn more about the laws of the crime.
- You can not be convicted of a crime if you don’t fit the criteria.
- You are not the only person to be charged with a crime. There is standard Florida law governing the judicial practices regarding, sentencing, fines, etc..
- Practice arguing your case in front of someone else to get comfortable with the process
- Wear your Sunday’s best to court! Be presentable and put yourself on their level. If you educate yourself enough about the crime in question you will be.
- Most attorneys will offer a free consultation! Prepare a list of questions and take advantage of this information. Take notes and research what you learn.
- You can retain an Attorney any time during your court case process.
- Your court case will eventually end. Hopefully it ends in dismissal!
Learn more here….
What does Florida law say about Probation and Community Control
When is an arrest without a warrant lawful?
What will the costs be once your case is over?
Disclaimer: The pro se information on this website is specifically for individuals who are representing themselves in the State of Florida without the assistance of an attorney. It is intended as an informative and practical resource for pro se litigants, and is not a substitute for legal advice from an experienced attorney. The information is procedural in nature and should be read in conjunction with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules of the Court and the individual practices of the judge assigned to your case. The links to other websites are for informational purposes only, we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in other websites.