Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

Ask a Criminal Defense Attorney: Can You Represent Yourself in Court for a DUI Charge?

You are dealing with a DUI criminal case. It appears to be rather straightforward, so why are you considering doing it alone without the aid of a DUI attorney? In a DUI case, you may often represent yourself. When you are not assisted by a DUI defense lawyer, you are referred to as a "pro se" defendant.

Standard punishments for a first-time DUI without aggravating factors are frequently set by a specific court. There may not be a need to pay a lawyer's fees if all you want to do is admit guilt and accept the normal punishments. Seems simple, doesn’t it? It might not be. Keep reading to learn more before you decide how to proceed.

There are many ways a DUI attorney could help you

Before you decide to take on the case without an attorney, remember that there may be defenses in your case that could have the charges dropped or reduced. An experienced attorney can frequently have the case dismissed.

Further, you will have an APS hearing at the DMV where an attorney may be able to help you keep your license. Even if you are found guilty, you may need assistance and direction in adhering to the terms of your probation.

How severe are the DUI penalties?

A DUI or DWI conviction may have substantial repercussions depending on the specifics of your case. For instance, according to most states, if you are found guilty of DUI, you might face the following penalties: misdemeanor charges, jail time, fines, the suspension of a driver's license, higher insurance costs, finishing a DUI course, and the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Remember that if you have a past DUI on your record, the consequences will be significantly harsher.

Additionally, each of the aforementioned penalties very much may have a detrimental impact on finances, work, and family. Given this, representing yourself in court after a DUI arrest is typically not worth the risk. To ensure that the effects of a DUI are as minimal as possible, you might wish to depend on a qualified attorney.

Your attorney can help you adhere to all necessary deadlines

DUI cases frequently entail particular action items that must be completed by particular deadlines. For instance, in order to attempt and stop the DMV from suspending your driver's license after a DUI arrest, you often have to request a DMV hearing within 10 days after the arrest.

Additionally, there is a deadline by which motions must be submitted to the court. Criminal defense lawyers frequently have a better understanding of these deadlines and court dates than non-lawyers do. If you would like a free legal consultation with a DUI attorney, we invite you to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055.