Can I represent and fight my DUI case myself? 67 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I have already been convicted of a DUI and I have a court date set up soon. Would the consequences be lessened if I had representation with me? How can a lawyer possibly defend me after the charge has already been placed against me?

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Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
Yes, but you're better off with a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
If you were represented by an attorney skilled in representing individuals charged with DUI that attorney could put the government to the test regarding the sufficiency of the evidence against you. In the alternative the attorney may be able to secure a favorable settlement of the charges against you.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 7/27/2011
The Law Firm of David Jolly
The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
DO NOT REPRESENT YOURSELF! Courts are harsh and prosecuting attorney unsympathetic. More to the point, if this is a second DUI the consequences of a conviction are monumentally difficult. Costs vary depending on location and level of expertise. Expect DUI attorneys to quote anywhere from $2500 to $10,000. However, in Washington State the average range is $3000-$5000 (obviously with many more being more expensive). If you cannot afford a private lawyer apply for a public defender.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/26/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However if you are only charged and not yet convicted, hen an attorney can represent you to either try to plea bargain or go to trial. If you are already convicted then your attorney can see if there are any grounds to vacate the plea.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/25/2011
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
Abraham Lincoln said, "One who represents himself, has a fool for a client."
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The very fact that you are asking that question tells me that you are cheap and very unsophisticated. You are probably young and obviously did not learn your lesson from your first DWI. Drunk driving is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping that you do not hit anyone with the bullets. It is a selfish act of someone who does not care if they kill innocent people, or even themselves. You should retain a criminal attorney because you are facing a jail term and possibly a felony charge. The fact that you think you could represent your self is not only absurd, but it reveals much about your thought process. I advise you to stop drinking...it's a very bad drug, get an education, read the paper, and find an occupation that you would like to do and work toward that goal. The truth is hard to hear, but it is the only advice that will be of any benefit...if you are wise enough to follow it. If you can afford my services and I have convinced you that only a fool would represent himself in court, feel free to call for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes you can represent yourself. You can also take out your own appendix with a swiss army knife. Both are equally foolproof and painless.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    While the court may allow you to represent yourself, the benefit to having a criminal defense attorney is in having your attorney request discovery and go through the report and evidence in extensive detail to see if there is any reason evidence should be suppressed or your case should be dismissed. An attorney will know what to look for in the report and how to analyze the alcohol test. I strongly recommend at least getting a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney so that you can give them the facts of you case and they can explain potential defenses you may have. If you feel like you need an attorney but your court case is approaching and you have not had time to retain one you can ask the court for 2 weeks to speak with an attorney and the court will most likely grant you an extension.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Sarbaugh Law Firm
    The Sarbaugh Law Firm | Bruce W. Sarbaugh
    The charge of DUI is simply an allegation by the police/DA that you were driving while your ability to do so was at least impaired by the voluntary consumption of alcohol. It is vital to remember that the DA must prove you are guilty of that charge beyond a reasonable doubt. It is very important to have a defense attorney who is knowledgeable about DUI defense at least review your case and determine how to best defend against the charge against you. This is especially true if you have a prior DUI conviction because the penalties are much more severe.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Can you represent yourself? Yes. You have a constitutional right to do so. Is it wise? No. You and the DA in open court before the judge is not a situation lending itself to negotiation on the outcome.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Sure, you can represent your self, HOWEVER, if you choose to do so, you will be held to the same standards as a licensed attorney who practices in this area, and if you are convicted, you cannot appeal your conviction on the basis that you "had a bad attorney". A DUI is very serious and a conviction could result in you going to jail for a year, being fined several thousand dollars, loosing your drivers license for a year (more if you have a commercial drivers license), alcohol/drug education and/or treatment, which could last several years, and be under the jurisdiction of the court for as much as 5 years. Don't be foolish, at the very minimum, you should consult with an attorney. You ask, "How can an attorney possibly defend you after you have been charged?" Did you, by chance watch the Caycee Anthony trial? Everyone figure she would be found guilty, but the jury decided otherwise. She walked from a possible death sentence. A charge is simply an allegation by the prosecutor. It is not evidence of guilt. The prosecutor now has to prove every element of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt". If he/she cannot, then you will not be found guilty. Without looking at the facts of your case, it is impossible to determine what defense if any you might have. Also there are other options, that based upon the facts, might result in a favorable plea agreement being entered to a lesser offense. Talk with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Joseph Schodowski
    Law Office of Joseph Schodowski | Joseph Schodowski
    You have every right to represent yourself. Although, I don't recommend it. First, you know nothing about DUI law. Say for example there is an issue with your breath test or the probable cause for the initial stop. You aren't a lawyer, so you wouldn't know what potential issues to look for. It's like me telling my mechanic, "I think I'll replace the transmission in my car myself." Another issue you need to consider is that Prosecutors don't like dealing with unrepresented defendants. This is because the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern lawyers has a strict section on dealing with "unrepresented persons." You won't be able to negotiate effectively with him or her and Judgement and Sentence you end up with will probably suck. Finally, just because you were found guilty of, or plead guilty to, a DUI before, has nothing to do with the current charge. At least with respect to proving the current charge. Your past DUI conviction will affect your Judgement and Sentence in your new case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Can I represent and fight my DUI case myself? Yes, but you have absolutely no idea of what you are doing. I have already been convicted of a DUI and I have a court date set up soon. So you are likely charged with a felony DWI - you really should not be representing yourself on this one. How can a lawyer possibly defend me after the charge has already been placed against me? There are many defenses to DWI but you need a professional to assert them.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can represent yourself in a DUI trial if you feel competent to do so. I would never advise someone to do that simply because of the many legal complexities involved in a DUI charge. There are many ways you could jeopardize yourself which an experienced DUI attorney may protect you from. You should at least consult with an attorney before you commit to representing yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You have a right to defend yourself without counsel. It may not be the smartest thing to do.There is no way for me to know what advantages you may have by hiring an attorney but it is almost certain that you would do better with legal counsel.Rick Williams
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Melani LaMar, Attorney at Law
    Melani LaMar, Attorney at Law | Melani LaMar
    How a lawyer can defend you depends on the facts of the case. Generally, you would hire an attorney because they know which areas are weaknesses of the State's case or can present your case in a way that is beneficial to you. However, attorneys can not change the facts of the case or laws. You asked how can a lawyer defend you after the charge has already been placed against you? A charge is merely an accusation. For a DUI charge the state believes that you were driving under the influence. That does not make it true. There are variables that might give someone the false impression that you were under the influence. Typical examples include health conditions or certain medications. You can represent yourself in court. The consequences if you had representation could be lessened principally because an attorney might know the weaknesses of the case, mitigating circumstances, whether the state's proof is adequate, or an alternate sentencing arrangement that might be available. Some DUI attorneys will meet with you for a free initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I do not believe that you can adequately represent yourself. I think that is a BIG mistake. A lawyer may see defenses that you are totally unaware of. Most importantly, a lawyer can talk to the prosecutor and plea bargain. I am quite sure that the prosecutor will not plea bargain with you representing yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    The law always allows a person to represent themselves; after all why pay to go out and eat when you can cook, why shop at a store when you can raise and grow your own food, why seek medical help when you're sick, since if your going to die you might want to save the costs. A lawyer has gone to school for at least 7 years beyond high school and in my case has 20 additional years of practice and real life trial experience. What is the worst that can happen? On a second offense you only face the loss of your license for at least one year, jail and fines, plus any additional costs and insurance expenses. You hire a criminal lawyer for the same reason you want a Doctor rather then someone who has had an operation to practice medicine. A person who represent himself has a fool for a client and an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    I barely even know where to start. Do you know the rules of evidence? Do you know how to select a jury? Do you know how to conduct a good cross examination? I could go on and on. Probably the best way I can answer your question is to tell you that most lawyers (after 4 years of college and 3 years of law school) can not defend a DUI case, especially not a second DUI. Even the very best divorce or bankruptcy attorney will not know how to defend a DUI. The only people who truly know how to defend DUI's are the few of us who study this area of the law and have gotten our noses bloodied in numerous DUI trials, IMHO. To be an effective DUI lawyer an attorney must study DUI law AND take cases to trial frequently. There is no substitute for that. So, yes, you have the legal right to represent yourself. But, I strongly suggest that you consult with a DUI attorney or two in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    An experienced DWI Defense attorney will be able to assist you in attempting to receive the least severe sentencing possible. An attorney's experience in how to enter pleas and the specific facets of the law are what make their services valuable. For example, if you plead guilty or no contest under the wrong statute in Louisiana, you will preclude yourself from being able to expunge the conviction from your record in the future. The future ramifications of your plea and/or conviction are not necessarily things that a judge will consider with regard to your best interest or make you aware of. Furthermore, an attorney will be able to assist you in avoiding incriminating yourself further based upon your testimony. The mere fact that charges have been brought against you have nothing to do with the potential effectiveness of the services of a skilled attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    The charges are only what the police said happened. The reason that we have a court is so that the DA has to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that what the police said is true. It is also so that you can present your own story and question the police story. An attorney can do this much better than you; on a second DUI you should always have an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    It is always best to have a lawyer represent you at every stage of any criminal prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You really need to have legal representation there are many times an attorney can have the stop declared illegal or have other things done. If you can not afford representation then one could be appointed for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    It is never a good idea to represent oneself. That is why lawyers study how to represent people. There are always things that can be done to help you. The fact that you are charged does not mean that you will always be found guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    An officer often makes mistakes on a DUI arrest in areas from the initial stop, arrest, administration and scoring of field sobriety tests, implied consent warning, and the administration of any blood, breath or urine test. It takes an experienced DUI lawyer to know what to look for.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You can always represent yourself. The saying is a client who represents himself has a fool for an attorney. DWI 2nd carries mandatory jail and serious loss of license. It is not generally a good idea to try to represent yourself. I can't guarantee the consequences would be less, but if there is a chance at winning, I believe that I would be able to find it. I routinely defend people charged with DWI and have won at least a case a week for years. There is no guarantee, but my advise is to hire the best lawyer you can find who focuses on DWI charges, possesses knowledge of the breath/ blood test, has a successful track record and is in your locality. Ask around for who is the best DWI lawyer in the town you are charged and talk to that person. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If you have already plead guilty, all that remains is sentencing. Whether there was a defense to your case should have been reviewed and determined prior to you entering a plea. Without reviewing the police report and knowing all the facts, it is impossible to determine if you might have had a defense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    I an experienced DWI attorney will review the police reports to determine if the police conducted a proper investigation. The attorney can find weaknesses in the investigation and provide a vigorous defense. You can defend yourself, but you, as most attorneys who do not concentrate on DWI law, will not be able to find the weaknesses in the police investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you retain a criminal defense attorney ASAP. As a former prosecutor, I have seen many defendants attempt to represent themselves and most did miserably. A non-lawyer simply does not know the procedural or evidentiray rules. It is up to you, but we recommend that you hire an experienced criminal lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Because that's what attorneys do. You are at high risk for long time jail with a second offense, and an attorney can certainly help with that. Don't take any chances!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    That's exactly what lawyers do, represent people who have already been charged with a crime. I would get the police reports, the booking video, if it exists, the Office of Alcohol & Testing documents (the Breath Test machine info, including proof it has been properly calibrated properly among other things) and analyze all of that as well as anything else we could find to see if your rights were violated in any way. We would also see if there were any grounds to suppress any of their evidence. In the event that despite all of this, we could not find any other options, I would then negotiate a plea bargain and make sure that you received the best possible plea available. As you probably know, you could face jail time on a 2nd DUI charge. A lawyer will almost always be able to negotiate a better disposition than a defendant on their own.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    There is the old adage isthat a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. If this were a parking ticket I would tell you to represent yourself. While I may treat myself for a headache, I am not inclined to lay on the kitchen table and try to perform heart surgery on myself. Don't forget: You contacted me and I am a lawyer meeting you are not confident about handling it yourself. You should not be undertaking a matter where a lawyer has a substantial experience, is friends with the prosecutor, knows of ways of avoiding excessive fines and costs, and may be able to negotiate you into a better position.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    You are always to represent yourself. However I would recommend hiring a good DUI attorney as the second DUI can be much more severe than a 1st DUI. A lawyer will look for things in an attempt to have the case dismissed, reduced, and won at trial. One option some states offer on a one time deal is a deferred sentence which is a 5 year extensive program but if successfully completed the charge will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq.
    The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel Esq. | Aaron Bortel
    Get on line, look up the National College for DUI Defense, and find a lawyer who practices in your area. Call for a free consultation and you will then understand how foolish you would be to represent yourself, especially with a prior conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A court cannot require any person to hire an attorney. However, going to court without a lawyer is unlikely to yield results. Attorneys attend school and subsequent training while practicing their craft to become well versed in aspects of the law that would be unfamiliar to a person not so trained.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    There is an old saying that a person who represents himself when facing jail time has a fool for a client. IF this is your 2nd DUI you are facing the real possibility of doing substantial jail time. You will be up against a District Attorney who will be prepared. IT is like going into a boxing match and you don't have any gloves on. Be smart. Call an experienced DUI lawyer and speak to them about what they can do for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    Yes you may represent yourself but your outcome will not have the benefits that can be obtained with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You have been charged, not convicted, just like every other person who ends up arrested for an allegation against them. It would not be smart at all to represent yourself. The case may be worthy of a dismissal or at a minimum a trial at which you could be found not guilty if properly represented. In addition, there are driver's licenses consequences which flow from a DWI conviction (and from the failure of the breath test or refusal to take same.) You need to hire a lawyer immediately so they can request a hearing on your driver's license matter.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Benari Law Firm
    Benari Law Firm | Arik T. Benari
    You've got to be somewhat out of your mind to represent yourself on a DUI in PA for a second offense when the sentencing range is 90 days to 23 months in jail for third tier offenses. Please call my office so we can properly advise you on your case and try to minimize your jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Mark Bruce
    Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
    It's not a good idea to represent yourself on a criminal charge of any kind. Your question shows the danger of representing yourself when you ask "how can a lawyer possibly defend me?" You are entitled to a court-appointed lawyer if you can't afford one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I strongly recommend consulting with a DUI attorney about your case. Being charged with a DUI is the first step....it's everything after that where an Attorney can help to mitigate the potential consequences, and potentially reduce or dismiss the DUI charges. You can check out 1duilawyer.com and go to the case results page for an example of dismissed and reduced DUI charges I have handled. The way an attorney defends you, is weakening the prosecutors case by challenging probable cause, breath machines used, as well as a long list of other potential defenses depending on your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    It is unclear from your question exactly what stage of the proceeding you are at. If you have been arrested and given a date to appear you have not been convicted. The first date on the citation is an arraignment. At the arraignment you will enter a plea. If you want to fight, then answer not guilty. After that there will be a few pre-trial conferences and then the case will be set for trial within 60 days unless you are in jail or waive time. You will definitely benefit from having a lawyer at the minimum he can help you with the process which can be overwhelming. A skilled DUI attorney can recognize and investigate possible defenses, negotiate for the best result or take the case to trial if it is warranted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    *He who represents himself has a fool for a client. * An attorney can review the police reports, speak to the prosecutor and protect your constitutional rights. There may be deficiencies in the case against you. An attorney will be able to analyze your case and get the best possible result for you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You can represent yourself but it's not recommended. You should certainly never represent yourself at trial. The process is too complicated and the stakes are too high to go at it alone. If it's your second offense, that means the penalties will be more severe. You need an experienced DUI attorney to evaluate the police report and lab results for any errors or defeciencies that could decrease the charges or get them dismissed. They are also much better at bargaining than a pro per individual.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    It's not clear from the question if a charge has been merely made or if the person has been convicted and is returning to court only for sentencing. In Hawaii, sentencing frequently occurs on the same day as a change of plea or following a trial. If the charge has been made, a lawyer is your best opportunity to defend and possibly get the charge dismissed, lessened or you may be found not guilty. If you have already been found guilty, either through a plea or following a trial, there are still tools available to an attorney regarding the case, including sentencing. Hiring an attorney can really increase your chances of a better result ultimately.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Are you saying this is your second DUI? You damn well better get a lawyer. Hopefully he will be able to guide you through it, or convince the DA to drop the prior or something. Do NOT go in without counsel - if you can't afford one get the public defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Lawyers can't help anyone until or unless charges are placed against them, so that is a silly closing line. One who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer. There are even some lawyers who do not understand the intricate ins and outs of DUI defense, which is more complicated than most murders, so you should not stumble through it yourself. If you are so unconcerned about the quality of your service to yourself that you would represent yourself [when you have a toothache, do you pull your tooth yourself???], then you might as well plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Unless you plead guilty or were found guilty after a trial, you haven't been convicted of anything, just charged. Your attorney will review all the evidence in your case to determine what defenses or options you have - factual defenses, legal defenses or other ways to protect you and get the best outcome possible. Use the time between now and your court date to consult with local criminal defense attorneys about your case. Don't miss the 10 day window from your arrest to set up a hearing with the DMV to challenge the automatic suspension of your license. Discuss this with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    It is rarely, if ever, a good idea to represent yourself in a criminal case. Whatever was possible for your case before you plead guilty would depend largely on the facts involved. However, as a general rule, whatever the best result for your case may have been, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer to represent you would have greatly enhanced your chances of obtaining such a result. Nonetheless, given the fact that you have already been convicted, there is not much that can be done at this point. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    You would be very foolish to represent yourself. There are many, many things an experienced lawyer can do to lessen the impact of a DUI especiallly a sencond DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    If you already plead guilty, a lawyer may still help you because they do this professionally and are often able to argue for a more lenient sentence or for options that a lay person would not be aware of. It depends on the facts of the case, the defendants prior record , if any, the judge, the court etc. You could certainly fight the case yourself, but, without knowing more, it would be best to have a lawyer at your side.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Sure you can represent yourself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. BUT, your post is quite contradictory. You say you were convicted, meaning you either pled guilty on a plea bargain or went to trial and lost. If so, there is nothing left to do but comply with the courts sentencing order. If sentencing was delayed for some reason, and you want an attorney to represent you, sure he may be able to help persuade the court to be more lenient in sentencing. If what you meant was that you were arrested, with charges placed against you, and you have a court date pending, where you can defend the charges, then go and raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. Keep in mind a little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    There is never a guarantee that a lawyer will be able to get you a better result. But the odds are better of finding a weakness in the DA's case. Your lawyer will also examine the prior case to see if it can be tossed. Remember the old saying, the person who represents himself has a fool for a client. At least have a lawyer review the police report and see if there are any defenses hidden in there.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to spot holes in the D.A.s case, if there are any. He will also be able to find ways to mitigate the penalty. Hiring a lawyer is an insurance policy against being taken advantage of by the D.A. Your second DUI is serious and it pays to be cautious
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Having a charge against you DOESN'T mean you have been convicted and are automatically guilty, especially when it comes to a DUI charge. A lawyer can't represent you (speaking of criminal defense) if there is no charge against you. Why would you hire a lawyer to represent you if you don't have any charges pending against you? The initial charges by the District Attorney do not constitute guilt. It simply means that they received an arrest report, whereby you were arrested because the Officer THOUGHT you were DUI. Being arrested doesn't mean your guilty. First off, were you driving? I've seen a number of officers make an arrest for DUI when there was no driving involved at all. Under California law, to be convicted of a DUI, there must be evidence of Driving - actual movement of the vehicle. Second, there are a number of things that can go wrong with evidence. Blood results may be tainted for some reason. Breath machines may not be working properly. The officer may not have had a valid reason to pull you over to begin with, which may suggest an unlawful arrest. Should you represent yourself? Not unless you are an attorney and understand the rules of evidence and substantive law behind the charges you have. Depending on when you were arrested for DUI, you may or may not still be within the 10 day period within which you can request a DMV hearing before the DMV automatically suspends your license, based on the arrest. Please remember, an arrest is NOT a conviction. Going to court because the DA filed charges against you, DOES NOT mean that you are guilty or that you will be found guilty. I suggest you speak with a couple of local attorneys about your case and get a better idea of what you're looking at once you can provide them with more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You are always allowed to represent yourself. However, that is seldom a good idea. DUI cases are very complex with issues that relate to the facts of the case (why you were stopped, officers observations, etc. etc.), the officers training, the science involved in the testing etc. Only a lawyer could look at the facts and law of the case and tell you if, in your specific set of circumstances, there is anything that could be done to defend you. A second offense is very serious and carries heavy consequences. Buying an hour of a lawyers time to see if there is anything that can be done might be the best money you ever spent.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    A lawyer will review he evidence to see if the commonwealth can prove the case against you or not Also there may be suppression issues you may not recognize Also lawyers can often help you obtain alternate sentences other than jail even if you are convicted
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Leyba Defense, PLLC
    Leyba Defense, PLLC | Matthew Leyba
    Your sentencing is probably the most important hearing date you can have. This is the date where the Judge will determine what sentence to impose. You do have a right to appear by yourself or have an attorney present. I think an attorney is always going to help you more than if you just represented yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    There is much truth in the old adage He who is his own lawyer has a *fool for a client*. DUIs can be extraordinarily complicated cases. An attorney experienced in DUI defense can challenge a multitude of issues involving reasonable suspicion to stop, probable cause to arrest, proper protocol for administering roadside tests and breath or blood tests and many other significant issues. In some instances even the fact that you were driving or whether you had been drinking before or after can be successfully challenged. And having effective counsel is even more important for a second offense where you will likely be facing a *mandatory* minimum sentence of 30-45 days in jail, 60-90 days electronic home monitoring *following* jail, fines of up to over $1,500. and up to* 3 years* license suspension!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The charge or charges against you are mere accusations at this point. The Constitution guarantees a Presumption of Innocence and requires that the prosecutor prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It has often been said that anyone representing him or herself has a fool for a client. I agree. The one thing you must have is objectivity about the evidence. That would be impossible for me to do so I would never represent myself. Besides that, DUI technology is complex and scientifically based. It has taken me a great deal of study to understand it. Were you to represent yourself, you would also be held to the same standard of an attorney. That means you must understand and apply the Rules of Evidence. Evidence is a semester-long class in law school. You would also have to know and apply the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Again, that's a semester class in law school. Finally, it would help if you had a working relationship with the local prosecutors and judges. I know anatomy and I know the arteries supporting blood to my heart. Would it be smart for me to perform heart surgery on myself? Don't risk this important case to a non-surgeon.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    If you have already been convicted you do not need an attorney unless you appealing. You can represent yourself but you would be better off with an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    You absolutely should not defend yourself. A lawyer can defend you in a variety of ways. It may be that the police had an improper reason for stopping you. It may be that the evidence does not support a finding of guilt. An experienced DUI attorney knows how to attack the field sobriety tests, attack the breath test, and cross-examine the officer. I am a little confused as to what you mean by saying you have already been convicted. Do you mean that you were convicted and now you are accused of violating probation? If this is the case, still having an attorney with you can help, depending on the allegations. In any case, many attorneys offer free consultations, so I urge to take advantage of this and see what can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC | John E Gutbezahl
    There is a saying that a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client. A lawyer can never make any guarantees or promises other than that they will represent you zealously. However, a skilled and experienced lawyer can certainly improve your odds. Being charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty. A lawyer can spot any issues that may result in the suppression or exclusion of certain evidence and will be aware of the applicable law. That may result in dismissal or acquittal. You will not benefit from representing yourself. If you wish to schedule an appointment I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/20/2011
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