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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

2.2-5  Self-represented Defendant

New, June 12, 2009

Note: This instruction should be given either at the beginning of the trial or at any time during the trial when a defendant has decided on self-representation. 

<Insert as appropriate:>

  • The defendant has decided to represent (himself/herself) in this trial, rather than being represented by an attorney. 

  • The defendant has decided to continue this trial representing (himself/herself), and is no longer represented by <name of attorney>.  

(He/She) has a constitutional right to do so. (His/Her) decision to proceed without an attorney has no bearing on whether (he/she) is guilty or not guilty, and you are not to draw any inference unfavorable to the defendant from the exercise of (his/her) right to represent (himself/herself). 

[<If standby counsel has been appointed:>  <Name of attorney>, a lawyer, will be seated at the counsel table with the defendant.  The defendant may at any time consult with Atty. <_____>. ]

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