We seem to be more of a Do It Yourself society than ever before. This is true even when it comes to representing yourself in court. Abe Lincoln said “He who represents himself has a fool for a client”. Yet now there are options if you realize you may be over your head. It is possible to get a continuance to obtain an attorney, or hire an attorney for Limited Representation to make sure you do not make severe errors while representing yourself.
Successful Reasons Why Some Are Successful at Representing Themselves
There are many people who try to represent themselves at court and some do a better job than others.
- Some get more helpful advice from the court service centers than others.
- Some get judges that are more patient than others.
- Some issues are just easier to deal with than others.
- Some people are comfortable speaking for themselves and some are not.
- Sometimes people assume that the other party is also representing themselves… then they find out at court that they have an attorney.
Getting a Continuance to Obtain An Attorney
There are a number of reasons why some people change their minds about self-representation at court. The good thing is you will most likely get a continuance to obtain an attorney if you ask; As long as your case is not scheduled for trial and you have not failed to show up or otherwise continued the case in the immediate past.
The judge will normally ask how much time you need and will generally give you between two and four weeks. You should use that time wisely. You may not be able to make an appointment right away. You may want to consult with more than one attorney. Also, you will want to give your attorney some time to prepare for your next court date.
Keep in mind that even if you already know you are unable to afford to hire an attorney for full representation, there are less costly alternatives available. You can choose to hire an attorney on a limited basis or consultative basis which is much more affordable than full representation. At minimum, a consultation with an attorney can better prepare you for the next court date by reviewing the expected procedural process and substantive issues you will need to address.
Call 203-304-9050 (877-286-3414 toll free) or contact us online to schedule your free initial phone consultation.
Lawyers Serving Danbury, Connecticut and all of Fairfield and New Haven Counties.