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Name: People v. Silfa
Case #: B139818
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/09/2001
Subsequent History: None

Appellant’s request to represent himself was improperly denied where he was literate, competent, and understanding. The court improperly denied appellant’s Faretta motion based on appellant’s lack of understanding of the legal system, evidenced by his answers on a form used by the Los Angeles Superior Court. A defendant does not have to pass a test in order to achieve self-representation. The advisements in the form could serve to warn a defendant about the complexities of self-representation, but could not be used to disqualify individuals who do not understand the nuances of the law. Since appellant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel, and was literate and competent, no more was required of him. It was therefore reversible per se to deny him his right to self-representation.