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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Can a Layperson Represent You in Traffic Court

    Is anyone familiar with a, "lay representative" being able to be used in a traffic court proceeding in the State of California? I have a friend who is a horrible public speaker and doesn't have the monetary funds to afford a private attorney and asked me if I could represent him as his, "legal counsel" during his trial. I've done research on, "lay representation" and what I have come up with thus far is;

    The origins of a Lay Representative is derived the sixth amendment; "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense," (Bill of Rights).

    It was made more clear what the rights of a defendant were it came to his/her legal counsel in the Faretta v. California, 422 u. s. 806 case in which Mr. Justice Stewart concluded;

    "The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of our Constitution guarantee that a person brought to trial in any state or federal court must be afforded the right to the assistance of counsel before he can be validly convicted and punished by imprisonment. This clear constitutional rule has emerged from a series of cases decided here over the last 50 years. 1 The question before us now is whether a defendant in a state criminal trial has a constitutional right to proceed without counsel when he voluntarily and intelligently elects to do so. Stated another way, the question is whether a State may constitutionally hale a person into its criminal courts and there force a lawyer upon him, even when he insists that he wants to conduct his own defense. It is not an easy question, but we have concluded that a State may not constitutionally do so," (FindLaw).

    A Lay Representative is defined as; "a person representing someone in a case in the small claims track who is not a solicitor, barrister or legal executive," (Law).

    An arguement in which a defendant's sixth amendment right of lay representation:

    After all this I came to the conclusion that the majority of lay representatives are used in either a criminal or civil matter, but couldn't find any concrete research on if a, "lay representative" may be used in Traffic Court in the State of California.

    Knowing that calling the county court house may not lead me very far for they are not, "legally allowed to offer me any advice on the legality of the situation" I'm hoping someone here might be able to make my situation more clear.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    LA LA Land

    Default Re: Lay Representation in Traffic Court, in the State of California

    Short answer: Unless you are an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of California, you representing him is not going to happen...

    Alternatively, and assuming this is for a traffic infraction, and that your friend has a decent argument and yet his only problem is that he's a "horrible public speaker", he has the option to argue his case by way of a Trial By Written Declaration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Lay Representation in Traffic Court, in the State of California

    and are you going to represent him when he gets charged for practicing law without a license? Kind of a catch 22. Even if you could have a layperson as counsel, a layperson could not legally represent you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Lay Representation in Traffic Court, in the State of California

    The only way to be able to represent a person as you proffer is with permission of the court, which is NOT likely.

    The law you cite is NOT applicable.

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