An accused can definitely represent himself. However, a criminal trial is a complex procedure that may be difficult for an individual to navigate. As such, it may be advantageous to engage a lawyer.
Benefits of having a lawyer
(a) Your lawyer can best represent your interests
A lawyer will spend time understanding your case, assessing the situation and coming up with a plan that best protects your interests. In essence, your lawyer will be an advocate for your rights.
(b) You will be hiring an expert to defend you
A lawyer specialises in defending their clients. As such, they will be able to devote their time and energy to building the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Experienced lawyers are experts in their specific area of law and are well versed with the court system and procedures. As such, having a lawyer will provide you not only with skilled, but wise legal representation.
(c) Your lawyer can protect you from any injustice
Having a lawyer ensures that every available action is taken to ensure that you do not suffer more than necessary.
Prosecutors may be unyielding in their case against alleged criminals and will thus seek for the highest available penalty.
A lawyer will be able to protect you from such injustice. Your lawyer will ensure that you are acquitted of false charges and protected against unnecessarily harsh sentencing if you are found or plead guilty.
(d) Prompt action can lead to mitigation
The earlier an action for your defence against your charges is submitted, the higher the likelihood of a successful case. Courts emphasise efficiency to save time and costs. As such, a lawyer can promptly assist in mitigating consequences and thus alleviating the burden that comes with your charges.