Can Someone Successfully Represent Themselves In A DUI Case?

DUI CaseSome people who are charged with a DUI believe that they can handle everything on their own. That’s a recipe for disaster. In a DUI, let’s say you don’t have an attorney, and you end up with a deferred sentence. You’re then ordered to take certain classes and do some evaluations. Because the prosecutor just filled out the paperwork, handed it over and the judge simply said, “Here is what you need to do,” a lot of people don’t realize the importance of completing those requirements.

Often these people are thinking, “I’m done with this, and I can get back to my life as soon as I leave this courtroom.” The fact is, there are typically going to be those required classes and other things that have to be done. I see a lot of people who don’t realize the importance, thought they could do it on their own, left the courtroom and didn’t fulfill any of the requirements. What happens then is they likely are going to get hauled back into court and end up with a conviction on their record.

As a service to my clients, right at the beginning of the case, I hand them a document with a list of contacts for the various evaluations and classes that they are going to need to take. Even if it’s looking like a dismissal might happen, I still have my clients start the required classes and evaluations. A dismissal is not always guaranteed, so this helps my clients in two ways: one, they’re able to get the classes and evaluations out of the way so that when it comes time to actually have to do them, they are already done; secondly, completing the courses and evaluations can help out with the plea offer. It usually improves the deal that my client would actually take.

If someone were to quickly plead guilty, then he or she doesn’t have the opportunity to complete some of the classes and get a better offer. The difference could be between two years of probation and just one. In general, pleading guilty quickly to get it out of the way is a bad idea. Other things to consider when pleading—even to a deferred—is your immigration status and whether or not you have a commercial driver’s license.

There can be a variety of legal reasons why a case might be dismissed. Evidence could be suppressed, the field sobriety tests might have not been conducted in accordance with the procedures, or the police officer may have just gotten fired for misconduct.

Additionally, if you plead guilty to a first DUI offense, you now have a DUI conviction on your record. Your next DUI would be charged as a felony. DUI is an enhanceable offense, which means a DUI conviction will enhance the range of punishment and the severity of subsequent offenses.

For more information on Self Representation In A DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.