Child molestation is a very serious allegation and and even more serious sex crime to be convicted of. Consequences can include jail time, monetary losses, registering as a sex offender and a pretty heavy stigma. According to the Department of Justice, child molestation is inappropriate physical contact between a child (usually under the age of 14) and an adult, where the child is used for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator. Because this is such a serious criminal allegation, if you stand accused of child molestation, it is not a good idea to represent yourself, although you are well within your rights to do so. Here are three glaring reasons why you should secure certified legal counsel and not lean on what you think you know.
The hard truth is that persons who represent themselves in a court of law are often mistreated. Judges tend to automatically dismiss those who come before them without a lawyer or are at the very least less likely to take you seriously or have any faith in your ability to navigate the American justice system. Unrepresented individuals, “pro se litigants,” are on the rise due to the economic changes, but if the accusers are represented, you as a defendant need to be as well. Regardless of whether or not you represent yourself in a criminal child molestation case, you still should take advantage of an immediate consultation about your sex crime allegations with a lawyer that has experience with these types of cases.
2. Complex Justice System
The American justice system can be very tough to navigate. There are lots of gray areas and there are plenty of imperfections that are being dealt with as they are uncovered. Even things as mundane and routine as credit card debt has dozens of steps. There are motions to be filed, evidence to find and compile, laws to interpret and so much more. Trying to take on these complex maneuvers with no knowledge of protocol and practices will likely leave you severely disadvantaged. Going to court unrepresented can cost you a lot more in the long run–losing, incarceration, etc. You will receive zero coaching or encouragement from the court.
3. Cloudy and Faulty Arguments
Because you have so much invested in the outcome of your child molestation case, it is easy for your arguments to become clouded with your emotions. Instead of arguing the evidence and facts of the case, you may find yourself trying to defend aspects that are not in question. You are also more likely to make incriminating statements that can hurt your case. And handing yourself over to the mercy of the court rarely ends well. It is not an effective legal strategy in most instances.
The saying goes, Only a fool represents himself. In most respects this saying holds true. If you are considering not hiring an attorney for your sex crime case because of the monetary cost, please do an Internet search for lawyers or organizations that support low-income clients. Child molestation allegations are very different from traffic violations, and self-representation is not advised.
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