The first meaningful court date that you’re going to have is your arraignment. Due process of law requires an arraignment. When your case is called, you’ll step up to the bench, and the judge will be looking for an attorney to approach the bench with you. When you step up alone, you’ll be asked if you have an attorney. When you answer that you don’t have an attorney and plan on representing yourself, both the judge and the prosecutor will be thinking that they can’t fix stupid. The judge will then tell you what you’re charged with, what it’s punishable by and ask whether you plead guilty or not guilty. Assuming that you plead not guilty, certain scheduling dates will be set, and you’re likely to be told that you should reconsider your decision to represent yourself. In legalese, you can interpret that as “if you plead guilty or are found guilty, when representing yourself, you’re likely to get jammed.” Judges and prosecutors don’t respect unrepresented defendants who think they can outsmart them.
The Pretrial Process
This is the stage in proceedings when you’re required to schedule hearings on any motions that you believe need to be decided before your case goes to trial. All such motions must be in writing, with proper and timely notice and placed on the court’s call for hearing. You really don’t know how to do any of this. When your case is called, your judge is really going to start remembering and dreading you. Not only are you wasting his or her time, but you’re also wasting the time of everybody else in the courtroom because you have no idea of what you’re doing. You’ll be paying for that in one way or another in the end.
If you persist in representing yourself and go to trial, a third player enters the courtroom. That’s the jury. Do you know how to compel the presence of witnesses on your behalf? Do you know the rules of evidence and how to lay a proper foundation in order to put things into evidence? You lack any of the legal or technical knowledge necessary to put on anything that remotely approaches an arguably effective defense. Nobody in that courtroom will respect what you’re trying to do.
Spokane DUI Lawyer
You’re taking a huge risk when you try to represent yourself in a DUI. It’s perfectly within a judge’s discretion to sentence you to several months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. There’s no reasonable basis for risking that, especially when we’re available to effectively represent you with a high likelihood of a far better disposition. We’ll approach your case with a view toward the most cost effective and favorable disposition possible. Contact a Spokane DUI lawyer from our office on any DUI arrest in or around Spokane County for a free consultation and case review. We’ll be pleased to speak with you and advise you of all of your legal options.