How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 37359
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
19958803
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If a defendant is pro se and he get information from this website

This answer was rated:

If a defendant is pro se and he get information from this website and maybe assistance from family members and learns how to perform a variety of procedures. What if he becomes so proficient that the prosecution or the judge ask him "who is helping you? How are you able to do all these things? Should or can the defendant plead the fifth or should he explain who is helping him?
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
.
If it were me and I was not an attorney, I would simply explain that I had done my homework and was aware of my legal, procedural, and constitutional rights to represent myself pro se and leave it at that. The other side has no legal right to know who is helping you or where you are getting your information.
.
You can't plead the Fifth Amendment unles your statements would serve to incriminate you criminally.
.
So I would look at them, smile, and then tell them that you have researched and done your homework.
.

.

.

Thanks.

Barrister

.

.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok Thanks. Here is the situation a defendant is in jail which has no computer no legal library and no legal assistance of any kind but the jail administrator allowed a relative to fill out an application for post conviction relief. Some info was acquired from various websites, family members who have some legal background but not lawyers etc. But the defendant had no access to anything although the relatve kept him abreast of what was going on and of course the defendant will read it ask questions and if satisfied sign it. Again the jail administrator authorized this and will be the notary on the document. In this scenario the defendant can't say he has done his homework but I guess he can still say" I have a right to represent myself and have anyone I want to help me" and just refuse to say who helped him even if a judge should ask?

Yes, part of doing your homework is knowing who to talk to and who to ask to tak certain actions on your behalf. The court is not going to dig into what books the defendant checkd out while in jail or what websites they visited. So they can simply say friends and family were helpful in getting them the information to defend their case.
.

.

.

Thanks.

Barrister

.

.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you