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How hard is it to defend yourself in court?

I've heard public defenders are too busy to give your case any real attention, so I'm thinking of representing myself (I don't think I have enough money to hire a lawyer). How hard is it? It's a DWI case and there was no breathalyzer, just an alleged failed sobriety test on the side of the road. Will the judge give me leniency if I don't know exactly when to speak/defend myself? I don't know how the system works, but think I can pull it off. Or how much will a lawyer cost for a DWI case? If it's a couple hundred bucks, I could do that.

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    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    5005 Lapeer Rd
    Burton, MI 48509
    (810) 743-2960
    Well you can defend yourself in court and you can also take out your own appendix with a Swiss army knife and no pain killer. Each process is equally foolproof and painless. Many public defenders are very good at what they do.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan - Replied: 1/11/2013
    William L. Welch, III | William L. Welch, III Attorney
    111 South Calvert Street
    Baltimore, MD 21045
    (410) 385-5630
    Consider whether you know the law, procedure, rules of evidence, the prosecutor, and the judge well enough to risk going to prison and having a record. Even though your charge is DUI, it might end up a public record, and employers, landlords, and lenders might refuse to do business with you because of it. If you cannot afford an attorney, then apply to the public defender for an appointed one. Like any institution, the public defenders office has good and lousy people in it. While you might not be able to choose who your appointed attorney will be, your attorney probably would know more about how to defend your case then you would on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland - Replied: 1/8/2013
    Craig Andersen | Andersen Law PLLC
    10000 NE 7th Ave Suite 330B
    Vancouver, WA 98685
    (360) 397-0111
    Every attorney charges different. Defending a DUI is very difficult. It is a highly technical charge. A public defender is better than nothing at all. If you defend yourself, you will be held to the same standard as an attorney. That goes for the rules of Criminal Procedure, rules of Evidence and trial tactics. Each of these classes runs a semester in graduate school.
    Answer Applies to: Washington - Replied: 1/8/2013
    Sally Hamblin | Hamblin Law Office
    4015 W. Houghton Lake Drive
    Houghton Lake, MI 48629
    (228) 224-7120
    No leniency from the bench in defending yourself. If first DUI, no prior contact, no victim, a retainer of $500, generally.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan - Replied: 1/7/2013
    Francis John Cowhig | Universal Law Group, Inc.
    430 S. Garfield Avenue
    Alhambra, CA 91801
    (626) 308-9936
    There is an old adage that says: "A person who represents himself has a fool for a client". It's hard to represent yourself in court unless you know all of the rules of evidence and criminal procedure. If you cannot afford an attorney, then your only recourse is to go with the Public Defender's Office.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 1/7/2013
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