In the world of Raleigh Traffic Defense, I have come across many individuals who have taken upon themselves to attempt to serve as their own counsel. No matter the charge, it is almost never advisable for someone to represent them selves, even for minor traffic charges.
Many people will hear from friends or relatives about what to do when they go to traffic court. Most of the time, this advice is third party information and rarely is it one hundred percent accurate. The practice of traffic ticket defense attorneys is a complicated one and a misstep by a Defendant can result in added points to the insurance, increase to the insurance premium and possible losing their license.
Many times while in the Wake County courthouse, I will be asked by a Judge to stand in and assist an individual who is representing themselves but are getting ready to make a mistake in the handling of their case. The Judge is aware of what the individual should do, however they are not permitted to give legal advice to a Defendant. The same goes for Prosecutors, they represent the State's interest and therefore cannot provide you with legal advice in how to handle your ticket. Normally, the process of a Defense Attorney assisting a Pro Se Defendant (one who represents themselves) is called "Friend of the Court." This is where the Raleigh Criminal Lawyer stands in to assist the court in performing it's duty in traffic court or criminal court. The Raleigh Criminal Lawyer will not be compensated by the court for their efforts, so it is more the action of a 'friend' then an actual attorney who has a attorney-client relationship with the Defendant.
It has been said that a Defendant who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. This can be an accurate statement as many people make missteps along the way of defending themselves. Raleigh Criminal Attorneys attend Law School for three years, and even then, the education is not enough to perform the act of Criminal Defense to the level that is necessary. These attorneys must not only know the laws surrounding the various criminal and traffic charges, but also the practices of the individual courthouses, prosecutors and judges. All counties handle traffic matters differently, and what may work in one county can be unheard of in another. That is why it is so important, when retaining an attorney, to be sure they are familiar with the county and courthouse where your ticket will be resolved.
If you have received a Wake County Traffic Case and are in need of representation, contact the Matheson Law Office for a free consultation.
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.