Why you should never represent yourself in a DUI case

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2019 | criminal defense |

Drivers in South Dakota need to do more to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. The state ranks the third worst state in the entire country for DUIs. Nearby states like Wyoming and North Dakota similarly ranked poorly in the study performed in 2017. 

A lot of people in South Dakota end up in court for drunk driving. If this ever happens to you, then you need to know precisely what steps to take to increase your chances of having a successful outcome. The one mistake you want to avoid at all costs involves representing yourself in court. 

You will have a judicial bias

Judges tend to have an automatic bias against defendants who represent themselves in court. This act makes the defendant look pompous and smug. If the judge casts you in this light, then it will be much harder to recover. There is also the chance you have no idea how to properly conduct yourself in court. You need to know what clothes to wear and how to speak to a judge. Messing up either one could hurt your chances before you even get a chance to present your case.

You may not know what evidence to bring forward

Did you know many breath test devices present inaccurate recordings? Do you know how to secure camera footage that could potentially help your case? There are numerous pieces of evidence to give to a judge, and the average citizen does not always know what they could be. Simply hoping for leniency will provide unfruitful results. 

You will stress yourself out

A lot of people assume they can handle themselves because they have seen courtroom scenes dozens of times on television. However, the reality is vastly different. It is easy to feel overwhelmed weeks before the trial because you need to prepare while handling every other aspect of your life. It is best to have someone else handle the legal workload while you deal with other matters.