Am I required to have an attorney during trial? 97 Answers as of July 01, 2013

Am I required to have an attorney during trial? Can I go to the hearing and defend for myself?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel. No, you are not "required" to have an attorney at a trial. You always have a right to represent yourself. I would not recommend that a person do that; however, it's their choice. Further, the presiding judge may appoint a lawyer to act as "stand-by" in case the defendant had any questions or issues, especially at a trial. With a misdemeanor, you won't have a "hearing," as you would for a traffic civil infraction offense; it's a misdemeanor charge meaning you'd have either a judge or jury trial if it got to that stage.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/20/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You have a right to represent yourself unless the court does not believe you are capable of meaningfully representing yourself. I do not recommend that a person represent themselves at a trial. You will generally do much better with an attorney. If you can not afford one, you can apply for a court appointed one.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/21/2012
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
You are not required to have an attorney. You have the right to represent yourself. However, its never a good idea.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/12/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Only a fool has himself for a client, including lawyers. It is not a user friendly process and it is VERY unlikely that you will do as well on your own as with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 6/7/2012
Conway Law Pllc.
Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
No, but only a fool represents himself. You better get a good lawyer son. You can get up to a year with a $2500 fine and license suspension.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/5/2012
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    You CAN represent yourself. Georgia and may other states say you have a right to represent yourself. Of course you also? have the right to try to remove your appendix, too. Law is a very technical field. Watching Law and Order doesn't prepare you to represent yourself any more than watching House prepares you to practice medicine.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/5/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    You have a constitutional right to proceed pro se (as your own attorney).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/5/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    You are never required t have an attorney during trial, but as Abraham Lincoln said "Whoever has himself as his lawyer, has a fool for a client". Since you do not indicate what the charge is, I cannot answer. It depends on what the maximum penalty is if you lose.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/5/2012
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    You have that right, albeit it's not very intelligent.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/4/2012
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you want to defend yourself, then your judge will conduct a hearing to determine whether you can and thus will be permitted. But, it is a BAD idea.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/4/2012
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    You can defend yourself at a DUI trial but consider the old saying that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. When you defend yourself you do not have the colds blooded objectivity an attorney would have. If your personal financial condition prevents you from hiring an attorney you should request the court to appoint counsel for you.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 6/4/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You have the right to defend yourself. You do not have to have counsel, although it is ill advised.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/2/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You can defend yourself. You can also take out your own appendix with a Swiss Army Knife. Both procedures are equally painless and risk free.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/2/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    No. You are also not required to have a doctor perform surgery on you if you want to do that yourself. I will safely predict that the result of trying the case yourself will result in a conviction. The mere fact you had to ask this question is clear indication you do not have a clue as to the procedure or workings of the system. Any first year prosecutor will have your head on a platter.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/2/2012
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law
    Benjamin D Gordon, Attorney at Law | Benjamin D Gordon
    You are allowed to defend yourself. I strongly urge you to have an attorney, however, as the law is often very technical and small procedural mistakes can really hurt you down the road.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/2/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    You have the right to represnt yourself. However, if you are tied up in the courtroom arguing your own case, then it siginificantly reduces your options. It also reduces your chances for success. Find a lawyer that you trust, and improve your odds.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A person always has the right to represent himself in court. This is called pro per. However, if you are charged with a crime that is serous you need an attorney. Because you have the six amendment right to an attorney you will be provided with one if you cannot afford one. Remember you are going up against an attorney that has years of experience in the court that your case will be heard. Going in on your own is like going unarmed to a gun fight with both your hands tied behind your back.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You can but unless you are very knowledgeable in the law it is usually not a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    Lincoln said: A man who represents himself, has a fool for a client. You would be at the mercy of an experienced prosecutor who knows the rules of evidence, and how to proceed with a trial and your conviction to which you could provide little resistance. Get an Attorney or assume the huge risk of being convicted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    There is no requirement to have an attorney. In fact, you have a right to defend yourself. So if that's what you'd like to do, go for it. If you're facing a felony, or even a misdemeanor, self-representation is very foolish. Period. I've never seen someone who went pro per do a good job. Never. Even highly experienced attorneys will have other attorneys represent them if they are charged with a crime. Would you perform surgery on yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Ryan Berman, Esq | Ryan Berman
    You are not required to have an attorney, however it is a good idea to have one. If you can't afford it, one will be appointed for you. Otherwise you'll have to waive those rights in court on the record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    You are not "required" to have an attorney and can represent yourself. However, there is an old adage which says: "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client." With that being said, if you cannot afford an attorney, you should ask the court to appoint a public defender to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Unless you are determined to be mentally incompetent, you are always entitled to represent yourself in court. Whether you should is a different issue. The conventional wisdom is that an attorney will be able to do a better job and get a better outcome. Prosecutors and judges don't like dealing with ProPers, unless you are simply pleading guilty, not defending the case. The only advice that is worth anything is for you to get legal counsel who knows how and what to do to best represent you, using whatever credible facts and evidence you may have for motions and defenses at trial, if necessary. Most cases are 'plea bargained' to avoid the risk of loss at trial and mandatory sentencing to the full term provided in the law upon conviction. The attorney's job is to get a good 'deal' you can live with, or prepare for trial.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    This is a very common question. Any individual can elect to represent themselves both before and during trial. Almost always this is a bad decision. Most lawyers do not represent themselves during a criminal case. Not only would most of them be practicing outside of their area of law, they would most likely be far to subjective to evaluate the case properly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You have a right to represent yourself in a trial, although I wonder why you would ever want to do that. Remember the adage: a person who represents himself in a court of law has a fool for a client. If you cannot afford counsel, and are facing a jailable offense, why not ask the judge for the appointment of a public defender, they are very qualified attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    As the saying goes, "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client."
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You have an absolute right to represent yourself. The old saying is that if you represent yourself you have a fool for an attorney and a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No, but I highly recommend it. Old saying: a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/1/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    You an represent yourself if you get the judge's permission but why would you? Lawyers have been specially trained and have years experience in defending these cases. Ask yourself if would you remove your own kidney if you needed to. While you certainly might be physically able to it wouldn't be a smart thing to do.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Yes, you can represent yourself, as foolish a decision as that may be. Depending on the case, the judge may have to make sure you are "qualified" to represent yourself and are adequately advised as to the consequences of doing so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Yes, but "a person who represents himself has a fool for a client."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You can, but just know the old addage, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." Which is why you must sign a bunch of waivers in order to represent yourself, and these waivers include warning after warning about why it is always unwise to represent yourself. Even lawyers who get in trouble don't represent themselves. They hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of Steven R. Hunter | Steven Hunter
    Yes, but it would be a mistake.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Would you operate on yourself?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/1/2013
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    The worst thing you can do is feel or believe you don't need a lawyer at trial. You're at a disadvantage in many ways. The judge cannot and will not help you. Hire a lawyer!
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    An attorney is not required however a person who defends himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    The only time that an attorney is required is if there is a chance that the court will sentence you to jail upon conviction. If the court will not sentence you to jail upon conviction (even though it could under the law) then a lawyer is not mandatory. If there is a possibility that the court might, then the court will mandate that you have counsel to advise you and may even appoint an attorney, at your expense, in such a situation. Of course, legal counsel is highly recommended as they are trained and experienced in the law, court rules/procedures, rules of evidence, and most important, often know how particular prosecutors and judges handle certain matters.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Mesiti Law | Benjamin Mesiti
    No, you are never required to have an attorney at trial, but as the old saying goes, "He who acts as his own lawyer, has a fool for a client". Remember, even lawyers hire lawyers.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    Although anyone has a Constitutional right to represent themselves in any court proceeding, the stakes are very high with an Oregon DUI charge. A DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor with a maximum of 1 year in custody and a $6,250 fine. Most DUI Lawyers will provide a free consultation to sit down and see what their representation could do to help you in these stressful times before a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    You certainly have the right to go to trial and represent yourself, just as a surgeon is free to do surgery on herself. It may not be the best idea, but you have the right to represent yourself. If that is your choice, I wish you the best of luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You are never required to have an attorney. You would be wise to have one. Trials are conducted based on strict rules of procedure which you are required to know and follow. Being nagware of those rules can significantly limit you effectiveness at trial. Think of going to trial as going to a foreign country where everyone else speaks an unfamiliar language.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You can try to defend yourself, just as you could try to remove your own appendix if it ruptured. Neither action is advisable however if you want a good result.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    You have the right to represent yourself, but you would be very unwise if you did so. An experienced trial lawyer who appears regularly in the court in which you are charged knows the law, the proper trial procedure, and the idiosyncrasies of the judge and the court personnel, including the prosecuting attorney. He will also be able to give you a better opinion as to the possible outcomes of your case so that you can make an informed decision as to how to dispose of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    Yes, if judge approves depending on charge.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You can defend yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    You can defend yourself. However, I do not ever recommend it.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of Eric J. Bell | Eric J. Bell
    Anyone who chooses to represent themselves - has a fool for a client. This is an old saying but it continues to hold true time and time again.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of John T Doyle
    Law Offices of John T Doyle | John T. Doyle, Esq.
    You are not required to have an attorney but it would be very foolish to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    You have a Constitutional right to represent yourself at trial. However, you should probably be aware of the leading case regarding this issue where the defendant won on appeal to represent himself, was retried, re-convicted and sentenced to a lengthier prison term. The judge correctly addressed the re-convicted defendant, saying to him,"Yes, you do have a Constitutional right to represent yourself. But if you choose to exercise this right, you have a fool for a client."
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    You are not required to have an attorney. You have the right to represent yourself pro se. However, it is not a good idea to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Technically you can proceed "pro se" but that would be extremely foolish. If you are indigent you are entitled to an assigned attorney. If you do not qualify for a free lawyer you should retain a good criminal attorney. Get a free consultation from several before you make a choice and ask for a flat rate so you know the total fee up front. You should not cut your own hair, drill your own teeth, or perform surgery on yourself, no matter how cheap or broke you are.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    You are not required to have an attorney and in fact have a constitutional right to defend yourself at trial. However, remember, he who represents himself has a fool for a client. Many attorneys cannot even properly handle a DUI case, let alone a lay person. Speak with a qualified DUI defense attorney immediately.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    You have a constitutional right to represent yourself, unless you are charged as an enemy combatant by a military tribunal since the patriot act was passed. So if you are not being held in guantanamo bay, cuba, you will be able to represent yourself. I wouldn't suggest it. Most courts will force a lawyer to stand by and sit second chair so you can ask him or her questions about etiquet and courtroom procedure. Even a lawyer will hire another lawyer to represent them for anything more compicated than a traffic citation.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Lance Daniel
    You may represent yourself after the court gives you certain legal warnings. However, representing yourself in court is not recommended.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    There is no requirement, but the old saying goes - the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. In short, DUI's are technical, scientific cases. If you do not have the requisite experience and training, it is not a good idea to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    You can represent yourself. The Court is required to apply the rules to you in the same manner as if you were a licensed attorney. The expression that a person who represents themselves as an attorney has a fool as a client applies.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Law Offices of Scott L. Little, LLC | Scott L Little
    There is no requirement that you have an attorney however it is not advisable to try a case without one; especially a criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    The "flip side" of the right to counsel is the right to represent yourself. However, considering that you might end up with a permanent criminal record and go to jail, you should be sure that you are familiar with the law, rules of procedure, and the rules of evidence, because your opponent will be represented by an attorney. Neither your opponent nor the court has any duty to act in your best interest.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    You have the right to represent yourself in any legal proceeding in the United States.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    You have the right to represent yourself, but it is not a good idea. You likely do not know the proper way to represent yourself, how the trial procedure works, what arguments to make, and also place yourself at a disadvantage by going against a prosecutor who is an attorney and knows those things.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Yes, you have the right to defend yourself, but there is an old saying: "Only a fool has himself for a client."
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You do not have to have an attorney. You may defend yourself. DIOs are not necessarily easy. There may be many issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    You are not required to have an attorney during your DUI trial in NH - you have the right to defend yourself. However, you will be required to know and understand the court process and rules - the court will give you some latitude during the court process but will not allow you to use the excuse of "I am not an attorney and don't know the rules" during the court process and trial.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Michael E. Stowell, Attorney at Law | Michael E. Stowell
    You certainly have a right to represent yourself but having a lawyer experienced in defending DUI's would give you a much better chance for a good resolution of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    No, you are not required to have an attorney at trial or at a hearing. As a matter of constitutional law, you have the right to represent yourself if you so choose. However, that does not mean it is a good idea. Having an attorney will improve your chances of keeping your driver's license and also of avoiding a conviction. It's not uncommon for prosecutors to take advantage of the situation and attempt things that they would never try if the defendant had an experienced attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    You can represent yourself. Likewise, if you had a toothache you could grab a pair of pliers and rip the tooth out of your head yourself instead of going to a dentist.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    You have a legal right to represent yourself at trial as long as that is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary decision.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    No you can represent yourself- but the old adage is "he who represents himself has a fool for a client".
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Offices of Mark A. Berg
    Law Offices of Mark A. Berg | David G Cohen
    You have a right to self representation. The court will first have you execute a Faretta advisement that you understand and waive your right to counsel. I caution against self representation at trial just as I recommend against self surgery.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM | A. Wade Leathers, Sr.
    No you are not required to have an attorney during the trial of your case. However, I would not suggest it. An attorney will know how to represent you procedurally and will provide defenses to your charge. There is an old saying, "A person who represents himself has a fool for a client." I would hire an attorney or at least consult one.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    A person has a right to represent themselves at trial. A judge will admonish the person of the disadvantages of self-representation. The old maxim, "A person who represents themselves has a fool for a client" is time tested and true. A judge will STRONGLY admonish a person that it is a bad idea for a person without legal training to defend themselves against a law trained prosecutor. A judge will further admonish the person that the court will not assist the person and the person has to follow all the rules of legal procedure and evidence as would a lawyer be expected to follow.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    I do not have sufficient information to answer your question fully. You are not required to have an attorney during trial. Some courts will give you several appearances before the court so that you understand your rights about serving as your own attorney. Court rules and rules of evidence must be followed in trial; hence, it is best to have an attorney so that he/she may preserve the records for a possible appeal. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can be screened to see if you qualift for a public defender to handle your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Glojek Ltd | Joseph E. Redding
    You are never required to have an attorney in a traffic or criminal case. However, it would be foolish not to have one. A corporation or LLC is required to have an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Khayoumi Law Firm
    Khayoumi Law Firm | Salim A. Khayoumi
    You have a right to represent yourself. This is called "pro se" representation. The court will make sure that you understand your right to have an attorney and ask you to waive that right before you proceed pro se.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    The Rogers Law Firm
    The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
    You can, but it's not a good idea to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Yes, you can go to trial and get convicted on your own, no problem. In fact, the DA's like it when you have no attorney, as you will not know how to conduct a trial, what motions to file, what objections to make, how to pick a jury, how to make an opening argument, how to cross examine regular and expert witnesses, how to make a closing argument, and what to argue at your sentencing. You should immediately contact a qualified attorney for advice and never go to trial without an attorney-it's like performing surgery on yourself by looking in the mirror.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    You are not required to have an attorney, you would simply be very foolish. Unless you are experienced and familiar with the rules of criminal procedure, the rules of evidence, sentencing, toxicology, etc., you would be placing yourself at a great disadvantage.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You can certainly represent yourself but it is not a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES | SAMUEL SPITAL
    In all criminal cases, whether at the arraignment or trial, a defendant has to be represented by counsel. When one does not have or cannot afford an attorney, the Public Defender is appointed to handle the case. There are some rare situations I which a defendant refuses to be represented and the Judge "may" allow him/her to proceed on their own behalf. However, it is a huge mistake for a defendant to represent himself. Usually, a lawyer provides the wisdom and objectivity to get winning results. Obviously, there are really dedicated and competent lawyers, and then there are some who do not have the passion to get it right the first time and may gamble on the outcome. In summary, there would have to be a appropriate reason not to have an attorney. Certainly an individual would not perform open heart surgery without a doctor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You are not required to have an attorney in a DUI case against you. But if you do not have an attorney, you will most likely lose. DUI trials can become extremely complicated, as most trials can, and it is best to have someone who is well versed in evidence and the criminal rules.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Is this a criminal or civil trial? You can always defend yourself at any trial. However what court or trial experience do you have? Remember you'll be facing a professional attorney. It'll be like facing a professional gunslinger in an old-west gunfight! You feel lucky? If the stakes are high: possible jail time or hugh amount of money, then you should at least talk to an attorney to think this out properly.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You can represent yourself, but the old saying is you have a fool for a client. Seriously, court is complicated and hiring the best lawyer in your locality will significantly improve odds of winning or getting a good outcome.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Seth B. Cobin, Attorney at Law | Seth Benjamin Cobin
    You can be approved by the court to proceed pro se, meaning you can represent yourself. However, you will be held to the same standards as an attorney and will be expected to know all relevant laws and rules of court. Thus, it is rarely a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    In individual matters, yes. However, you should be aware of the old adage that "an attorney who represents himself as a fool for a client" to which the corollary is an individual who represents himself is crazy. There is no one in the court who is going to be your friend.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    You have the constitutional right to defend yourself. You also have the right to make better choices than that. Hire a lawyer. A DUI now can affect you forever.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You are able to appear in court and represent yourself. However, since you don't know you are defending yourself and NOT "defend for yourself", it is probably a bad idea. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/14/2013
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