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Can I Appear at my Los Angeles DUI Pre-Trial Without an Attorney?

While your case is pending before a Criminal Court, you have certain Constitutional Rights that are protected. One of those rights is the right to an attorney.sThe criminal justice process is a complicated one, and entering a plea can have certain consequences to your freedom, or your rights. Because of this, each and every person has the right to an attorney, so that they do not waive any rights that are given to them without understanding what it it is that they are waiving.

On the flip side, you also have the right to represent yourself through the criminal process. If you choose to do this, you will not be given special considerations because you are representing yourself. You will be held to the same procedural standards, deadlines and laws as a person who is represented by an attorney.

At any point in the proceedings you have the option of asking the Judge for a continuance so that you can hire counsel. Just because it is a fundamental right for a person to be represented by counsel in criminal proceedings, that does not mean that everyone can afford to do so. If you would like to be represented by counsel but do not have the funds to do so, the government will provide you with a public defender and will charge you based on your financial situation.

A public defender is also an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney but has about five to ten minutes to review each case before it is called before the Judge due to the extensive caseload they carry. A private Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney only takes on cases they have enough time to work on. The criminal defense attorney will have the opportunity to seek discovery surveillance, talk to the officers and the Prosecutor and properly prepare a case’s defense and argument.

If you are representing yourself at a Pre Trial, that means that you probably entered a plea of not guilty and declined the Prosecutor’s plea bargain offer. This is not always beneficial, and the offer given at the Arraignment may not be available. Whether a person should accept and offer or go to trial will depend on the facts of the case and the available evidence. If you are representing yourself at a Pre Trial, you may not know when to lush the case to trial and risk a full sentence as stated in the Vehicle Code, or whether you should accept an offer.

You can always represent yourself in criminal proceedings, you do not need an attorney present. However, it is highly recommended that if you are at the pre trial stage, you should have a legal professional representing you. It may make a huge difference, because you go to trial and you do not have a strong case, you could potentially risk getting a full sentence, including jail time.