Should a person represent themselves in a DUI case?


Lately, I have had several people ask me if they could just represent themselves in a DUI case. Each time I tell them the same thing. You have a legal right to do so, but it is not recommended.

I have been a Seattle DUI Attorney for 5 years. During 4 of those years I worked as a public defender, which means I was in court every single day, dealing with hundreds of clients a month. On occasion I had the opportunity to view people who elected to represent themselves on a DUI charge. Not once did this work to the advantage of the accused. I saw some interesting theories on why they were arrested, but I never saw anyone who actually did this get found not guilty. Consider using the best Seattle DUI attorney when you need the proper defense.

There are many reasons why representing yourself on a DUI charge is not a good idea.

First there are numerous rules that you need to be familiar with. Both rules of evidence, and local court rules. A good DUI defense attorney has spent a significant amount of time familiarizing themselves with these rules, procedures, and court decisions.

Secondly a DUI attorney is going to have the experience that you don’t. Whether it involves knowing the prosecutor, judges, and police officers. Or having the necessary experience in trial. Experience goes a long way in this field.

Lastly there is a science to defending a DUI. An accomplished DUI attorney will understand this science and be able to mount arguments against it. Defending a DUI is not as simple as saying the accused’s ability to drive was not impaired by alcohol. There is a lot more to it than that.

If a person does choose to proceed “pro se” then a Judge will determine whether the defendant is fully aware of their rights, understands that going at this alone will not be a basis for appeal, and they will be held to the same standards as a practicing attorney.

If you are contemplating representing yourself on a Seattle DUI or a Washington State DUI charge, please contact my office immediately. I can certainly help with any questions you may have, and give you my thoughts on how you should proceed. I offer a free 60 minute consultation.

Leyba Defense PLLC
1700 7th Ave #2100, Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 504-3131