representing yourself in a dui case and how a criminal lawyer can help

by Naomi Tillman 6 min read

Yes, it is possible to represent yourself in your DUI/DWI case. You can post bail, plead guilty or make a plea deal and, if you're lucky, you might achieve the same results as an attorney. However, that's a best-case scenario.

Full Answer

Can I represent myself in a DUI/DWI case?

Yes, it is possible to represent yourself in your DUI/DWI case. You can post bail, plead guilty or make a plea deal and, if you're lucky, you might achieve the same results as an attorney. However, that's a best-case scenario.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI case?

Even if you handled your first DUI by simply pleading guilty, you will most likely need the assistance of a DUI attorney for subsequent DUI charges. You can expect your insurance premium to rise dramatically after a DUI conviction.

What should I consider before handling my own DUI case?

Here are five things to consider before handling your own DUI. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more doesn’t guarantee a conviction. Before you plead guilty, you should learn about the DUI penalties and fines in your state in order to make an informed decision.

Is sentence bargaining for a DUI a good idea?

Sentence bargaining for a DUI is extremely useful where a guilty plea might result in a long period of incarceration. For example, you might be willing to plead guilty to a second DUI but only if you know what your sentence will be. The same is true with an aggravated DUI case where your BAC was over .15% or resulted in injury or death.


1. When Representing Yourself, You Need to Produce a Legitimate Defense

There is a lot that goes into becoming a lawyer. Attending law school and passing the bar exam is just the beginning. It’s courtroom experience that separates good lawyers from the best attorneys.

3. Your Case May Get Complicated

The big pros and cons of representing yourself in court are how to deal with complexities that arise. If your case becomes complicated, will you know how to overcome the hurdles? There are things that could arise that will cost you big time if you do not know how to address them.

Know When to Hire a Qualified DUI Lawyer

Representing yourself in court may sound like a good idea in the beginning. As you progress through the courts there may come a time when you need to get an actual lawyer. Believe it or not, the judge will oblige if you admit you made a bad decision.


DUI’s can be scary! I would then explain it’s not the end of the world and if they want someone to handle their case then to talk to Mark Rosenfeld. They won’t regret it.

See What Our Happy Clients Have to Say

DUI’s can be scary! I would then explain it’s not the end of the world and if they want someone to handle their case then to talk to Mark Rosenfeld. They won’t regret it.

In What Way Can A DUI Lawyer Help?

Experienced DUI attorneys specializing in handling these cases know that some mistakes are made throughout the arrest process. These mistakes, may it be intentional or not, may lead to people getting charged falsely or more severe charges being sought. So exposing these mistakes in the prosecution’s case is what helps beat DUI charges.

What If I Represent My DUI Case By Myself?

After a DUI arrest or DUI conviction either due to drugs or alcohol, you may risk facing severe consequences. To be exact, DUI cases may result in fines, jail time, loss of driver’s license, and worse, your job.

Can I Just Hire A Public Defender To Handle My DUI Case?

You have the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one. Public defenders are provided for defendants who meet specific financial requirements. You have to fall with a certain limit for income and savings before you become eligible for a public defender.

What Should I Look For In A DUI Attorney?

When looking for a lawyer, you should look for someone who has tons of experience.

How Much Does A DUI Lawyer Cost?

The cost of a good DUI attorney depends on the severity of the case and the charge. When entering a plea deal, a DUI lawyer will usually cost approximately anywhere between $700 and $1,500. However, if your case ends up going to trial, the cost of the lawyer will increase.

Is There Any Chance Of Getting Convicted Even If I Hire A DUI Lawyer?

Depending on your state, a DUI conviction can stay on your driving record for 75 years. Some states also do not allow DUI charges to be expunged. Given how hard it is to beat a DUI charge, it is probably safe to say that the overwhelming majority of individuals who beat their driving under the influence charges had the right lawyer helping them.

A Summit Defense DUI Lawyer Will Fight For Your Rights

If you are ready to find the right DUI lawyer for your case, call us at 1 (866) 560-4276 or fill out our online form. Our Summit Defense law firm offers a free case evaluation on your first visit with our experienced attorneys. They can evaluate your case and begin building a solid defense strategy.

Why do DUI defendants want to represent themselves?

The most common reason a DUI defendant wants to represent themselves is that they do not qualify for a public defender (free lawyer), and are worried about the cost of hiring a private lawyer. This is a reasonable fear. However, you may end up saving a little money now to owe a lot more later. DUI penalties are expensive.

Is California a DUI state?

DUI law is extremely complex. California has multiple driving under the influence laws, with complicated penalties for each one. Without legal training it can be hard to determine even what possible penalties you face, let alone how to fight them.

Why Representing Yourself Is An Awful Idea

A surprising number of drunk driving defendants can fight their charges. For some, learning that their case even has the possibility of being dropped or won is a surprise. They mistakenly believe that since their blood alcohol content was measured in some way that the courts are going to throw the book at them.

Why Having A Lawyer Is Important

There are a number of reasons why hiring a lawyer or utilizing the services of a public defender is important. For one, prosecutors lick their chops every time a person decides to represent themselves in court. This is because most people do not know what they are doing.

Southern California Defense Assistance

Having second thoughts about representing yourself? Call (844) 241-1221 to obtain a free confidential case evaluation from one of our skilled lawyers serving Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Let us help you better understand your charges and penalties and help you determine what options are available to protect your freedom.

What happens when you represent yourself in court?

When you represent yourself, your reputation won’t matter an ounce in the courtroom. Prosecutors will see you as nothing more than someone convicted of a DUI. They won’t feel intimidated by your lack of experience representing cases or your knowledge of the law, no matter how extensive it is. With an experienced attorney, you’re able ...

Why do attorneys work hard?

Attorneys work hard to build their reputation , and that reputation helps in the courtroom. You might end up with a lesser sentence, fine, or other consequence when you work with an experienced attorney. This is because they’ve won cases similar to yours and have the experience to back up their claims.

Can you represent yourself in court for DUI?

Representing yourself is always an option but doing so may not be in your best interest. At best, you’ll end up facing the minimum required sentence for your DUI charges. At worst, you could end up facing significant fines and jail time. Hiring the right DUI attorney will help you mount a solid defense and argue your case in court.

Can emotions get the best of you?

Your Emotions Could Get the Best of You. When you represent yourself, you’re more likely to give in to your emotions. It’s normal. After all, it’s your reputation on the line. Unfortunately, emotional outbursts can hurt your case and end up getting you in trouble with the court.