I have been told that I can represent myself in my criminal matter. So why do I need a lawyer?


There is an old adage “A person that represent themselves has a fool for a lawyer”. While this may not necessarily be true, there are advantages to having a lawyer represent you.

Most importantly is that your legal representative has formal training and an intimate knowledge of how the legal system works. This will be advantageous in dealings with the Prosecution and when they appear in Court on your behalf.

Secondly, a lawyer understands the rules of evidence and may have certain facts or information excluded, potentially resulting in a not-guilty verdict. For example, if the police search you or your vehicle, a lawyer will know if they had a legal right to undertake such a search?

Finally, you may be charged for an offence that does not coincide with the facts. While the proof that you committed an offence may be irrefutable, a lawyer can undertake negotiations with the Prosecution for you to plead to a lesser charge.

While representation by a lawyer costs money, engaging their services can be well worth it if it saves you money by way of reduced or waivered fines, or you avoid going to prison.

Eugenio Lagana
Criminal Law; Police & Traffic Matters; Child Protection; Victims of Crime
E: elagana@scammell.com.au

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