What are Some Defense Strategies for Representing Yourself Before a Judge?
So, you had a few drinks and got behind the wheel. Before you know it there are flashing lights behind you and you are puffing some breaths into a breathalyzer. Often, this can feel like your life has just been destroyed because of this small choice you have made to drive while intoxicated. Depending on your situation you may find yourself sitting in a jail cell, waiting to hear what legal consequences are going to follow the incident.
This is usually the time where you need to decide whether you should seek the assistance of Springfield DWI Attorneys, like DWI Springfield, or proceed pro se (on behalf of yourself) in your defense before a court. Making this decision may be very difficult to make. The court system can be a very intimidating system, the legal jargon alone can prove difficult to navigate.
Not only is the legal language difficult, but understanding the legal process and technicalities can take years to learn. However, pro se legal representation is possible and may be your best choice. Maintaining confidence in your abilities and not being intimidated by the process can be your best ally. Some of the benefits that come from pro se representation, instead of seeking DWI attorneys, are:
- It will save you money by representing yourself. Pro se cuts out all the additional costs and billable hours or flat rates that you would face when hiring an attorney.
- You know the events of your case better than anyone else, which makes you equipped to defend yourself.
- With a little training you can know what some of the best defense strategies are.
- With the additional money you will have from pro se representation, you can pay any fines that may come from your actions.
Knowing some common defense strategies before representing yourself can boost your confidence before stepping in front of a judge. If this is your first time receiving a DWI, it may be to your benefit to enter the court pro se, instead of with DWI attorneys. On the other hand, if you are a repeat offender you may want DWI attorneys to make creative arguments on your behalf. Either way you will have to be able to gauge the seriousness of your situation and whether it would be a wise decision to defend yourself before a judge.
Here, we will discuss some common defense strategies that you can use while acting on your own before a judge. Although, before we get to the specific defense strategies we should discuss some basics that should be known before stepping into a court. Just knowing how a court works is essential to successfully representing yourself. This means having a superficial understanding of some civil procedure (the rules behind how a court functions). These rules will help you make the right argument at the right time.
Specific Defenses That Can be Made Without the Assistance of DWI Attorneys
Specific defense strategies should be studied and understood before entering the court pro se. Some of these strategies that can be implemented were discussed in the article “How to Get Your DUI Dismissed” and they are the following:
- Reasonable Suspicion: An officer cannot just pull you over because they feel like it. There has to be a reason for pulling you over. These reasons are often in the form of minor traffic infractions. A traffic infraction, such as not using a signal light, can be enough to establish reasonable suspicion and lead to you being pulled over. The defense strategy will come from the lack of reasonable suspicion. If an officer does not have reasonable suspicion, then you can make the 4th amendment argument. This argument would be that it was an unreasonable traffic stop and all evidence seized should be suppressed.
- Miranda Rights: Whether or not you were read your Miranda rights is very important to your case. Evidence gathered while failing to read Miranda rights may be suppressed by the court. Being aware of your Miranda rights and when they were read to you, can help you win your case.
- Challenging the Field Sobriety Test: As hard as an officer tries to use their judgment as to whether someone is intoxicated, human error will always be involved. Certain visual tests will be implemented by an officer. These tests often tell the officer whether or not the driver is intoxicated. Due to the fact that these tests are based on human judgment, error can be involved. This can be an easy argument to make.
- Chemical Test Results: At times the equipment used can malfunction. In addition, arguments can be made as to whether the equipment was properly used and maintained.
- Who was Driving: Sometimes officers will arrive at a scene and not know who was driving. This can happen when there are multiple people in the vehicle that was crashed. Not knowing who was driving and having no eye witnesses can create an argument for you.
Often the judge will be more lenient when you make minor errors in representing yourself. However, depending on the seriousness of the DWI the judge may question you concerning the lack of legal counsel. It is important to note that DWI Springfield offers free consultations. So if you do have a difficult question to answer or need some sound advice, a free consultation is a great way to get it.
Which Situations Should You Seek DWI Attorneys to Represent You Before a Judge?
There are times when seeking the advice and counsel of trained DWI Attorneys will be necessary. Some situations may be very difficult. These situations can represent numerous difficulties, which should not be handled pro se. If your blood alcohol level is extremely high and severe consequences can follow, then legal counsel should be sought. Also, depending on whether or not you are a repeat offender, should help you decide whether to obtain legal counsel.
The severity of the case should help you decide whether or not you should seek legal counsel. If you are facing jail time and perhaps a felony, then you should definitely seek the assistance of DWI attorneys. Also, you should seek the help of an attorney if you are intimidated by the legal process, which will mean that you will not be able to represent yourself fully before a judge. Maybe you just want another to represent you and help you through the process, even though it was a minor infraction. In other words, you may want an attorney no matter the consequences that face you. However, there are times when you should seek counsel. Those are for repeat offenders and severe penalties.
If you have questions concerning a DWI or need advice from a free consultation, Contact Us.