You have the legal right to act as your own attorney. Mississippi courts recognize defendants who represent themselves in criminal law proceedings. However, acting on your own behalf is typically not a good idea.
There’s a difference between knowledge and experience
It’s a lot like driving a car. You know what the different pedals do. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t jump into an 18-wheeler with your knowledge and pursue a job in cross-country trucking. To do that, you need experience driving the larger vehicles. They turn differently, are tougher to back up, and have blind spots you aren’t even aware of.
Representing yourself in court is a lot like that. You may read up on the law, but putting it into action and presenting it to a jury are two different things. In criminal law, it’s not just what you know, but also how you present it.
Taking advantage of a third party’s cool head
Whether you decide to retain an attorney or proceed pro se, you have the ultimate power of choosing how to plead. A lawyer may advise you, but it’s up to you. However, it’s a good idea to get the third-party input.
For starters, they’re not emotionally involved in your situation. In addition, they can read between the lines what the prosecution has on you. Most importantly, they know the case law. Therefore, they know how juries typically view defendants in your position. When you combine these elements, you can see how the cool heads of a hired law firm help you navigate the emotionally charged atmosphere of the case.