Q: What is the procedure for representing one’s self (pro se) as a defendant in a criminal case (Florida)?
A: You will be required to follow all of the same rules that an attorney would be required to follow. A Pro Se defendant does not get special treatment. You will need to:
1. Let the court know you intend to represent yourself
2. Register for the E-filing portal
3. Draft and e-file a Notice/Demand for Discovery
4. Research and e-file any motions, notices of hearing etc.
5. Review the discovery and determine any legal issues
6. Negotiate with State Attorney in writing or in court because they will not talk to you
7. Prepare the case for trial if all negotiations break down
There is a lot more to it than that but this should help you get the picture. If you can't afford an attorney you would be much better off with a public defender. Although they are severely overworked, they have much more experience than you do.
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