If you’re like many people facing domestic battery charges, you may be wondering whether you should work with a domestic battery defense attorney or defend yourself in court. This guide outlines seven reasons you should never represent yourself in a domestic battery case.
7 Reasons You Should Never Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case
Check out the seven biggest reasons you shouldn’t represent yourself in a domestic battery case:
- You may not know all the laws on the books.
- You probably haven’t defended anyone in court before.
- The court probably considers you biased.
- You could accidentally say something that incriminates you in the crime.
- Your emotions could get the better of you.
- You most likely don’t know all the court’s rules and procedures.
- The judge and court staff can’t help you.
Here’s a closer look at each.
Reason #1 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: You May Not Know All the Laws on the Books
In any given domestic battery case, there may be several laws that come into play. For example, in Illinois, the law on domestic battery is found in720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. But there are also other laws that may be relevant to your case including:
- The law on self-defense (720 ILCS 5/7-1)
- The law on 911 calls (720 ILCS 135/1-1)
- The law orders of protection (750 ILCS 60/101)
You may not be aware of all the laws that apply to your case, which could put you at a disadvantage when defending yourself in court.
Related: Should you explain your side of the story to the police?
Reason #2 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: You Probably Haven’t Defended Anyone in Court Before
If you’re not an attorney, it’s unlikely you’ve ever had to defend anyone in court. This lack of experience could put you at a disadvantage when trying to defend yourself against domestic battery charges.
Reason #3 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: The Court Probably Considers You Biased
When you represent yourself in court, the court may view you as being biased. This is because, as the defendant, you have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. You may be tempted to violate the rules (or stretch the truth) in order to win your case.
Related: Will you be charged with domestic battery for hitting your ex-spouse?
Reason #4 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: You Could Accidentally Say Something That Implicates You in the Crime
If you choose to represent yourself in court, anything you say can and will be used against you. This includes any statements you make to the prosecutor or to the judge, even in what you believe is casual conversation.
Reason #5 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: Your Emotions Could Get the Better of You
If you’re facing domestic battery charges, it’s likely that you’re feeling a range of emotions including anger, fear, and anxiety. These emotions can cloud your judgment and make it difficult for you to think clearly. When representing yourself in court, it’s important to be level-headed and calm.
Reason #6 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: You Most Likely Don’t Know All the Court’s Rules and Procedures
Each court has its own set of rules and procedures that must be followed. If you choose to represent yourself in court, you’re likely not familiar with all the court’s rules and procedures. This could put you at a disadvantage.
Related: Can you plead not guilty to domestic battery?
Reason #7 You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself in a Domestic Battery Case: The Judge and Court Staff Can’t Help You
When you represent yourself in court, the judge and court staff are not allowed to give you legal advice. This includes advice on what to say or do in your case. If you have questions about the law or the court’s procedures, you’ll need to find the answers on your own.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?
If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.
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