DUI hearing

Facing charges for driving under the influence can be incredibly stressful. While working with a South Carolina DUI defense attorney is a great way to give your case the best chance it deserves to mitigate the charges against you, some people may want to represent themselves. So, can you act as your own legal counsel in a DUI case in South Carolina? Here’s what you need to know.

You Can Represent Yourself in Court 

Legally, you are allowed to represent yourself in court when facing a DUI charge in South Carolina. And if you do, you wouldn’t be the first person to do so. People may choose to represent themselves for many reasons, whether it’s because they can’t afford a good lawyer or because they don’t have faith in the court-appointed attorney assigned to their case. But just because you can represent yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Why You Should Work With a South Carolina DUI Defense Attorney

Working with a DUI defense attorney from the very beginning is almost always a better choice than representing yourself in court. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney to represent your case rather than trying to act as your own lawyer.

Attorneys Understand the Law

On the surface, South Carolina state laws can seem straightforward and simple. If you break them, you could get in trouble. But the law is rarely ever cut and dry. Attorneys understand the laws impacting your case and your possible conviction. They’ll be able to argue on your behalf within the scope of the law and could increase your chances of receiving a lighter sentence if you’re convicted or have the charges dropped entirely.

Attorneys Can Give You Advice

Knowing what to do, how to do it, and what you can expect during your trial isn’t easy without extensive legal training. When you work with an attorney, you’ll have someone on hand to give you advice and someone you can trust to guide you through the process. Over the course of your trial, your attorney can save you stress.

Attorneys Won’t Accidentally Incriminate You

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when representing yourself is not effectively telling the court that you’re guilty of the charges you’re facing. Your attorney’s job is to represent your interests and, if possible, reduce or eliminate the charges you’re facing. They’ll be careful not to imply or state your guilt during your hearing unless you both agree that doing so is the right decision.

Attorneys Can Remain Unemotional

When you’re arguing your own case, it’s normal to let your emotions come out. After all, it’s your future and your life that the charges could disrupt. But being emotional in the courtroom can have a negative impact on your case. Attorneys are legal professionals and will present your case without letting their personal emotions get in the way.

Attorneys Can Identify Holes in the Prosecution’s Argument

Experienced DUI defense attorneys are trained to look for holes in the prosecution’s arguments against you. When they find those holes, they may be able to cast doubt on your guilt which could result in a more favorable outcome for your trial. If you try to represent yourself, you may not have enough experience or understanding of complex legal topics to identify those same holes and use them to your advantage. This could inadvertently strengthen the prosecution’s case against you.

Contact Truslow & Truslow Today 

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, working with an experienced South Carolina DUI defense attorney is always a good idea. At Truslow & Truslow, our team has years of experience representing cases like yours. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help.