Can you represent yourself in court? Yes.
Should you represent yourself in at a trial or hearing? No.
What happens when most non-lawyers represent themselves is:
– They say things that legally prove their guilt;
– They try to present evidence that could be considered, but the court never considers it because the person doesn’t know how to properly present it;
– They say things that they think help explain the situation, but actually increase the punishment;
– They don’t realize the penalties they could face for a case, and are upset when things don’t go the way they hoped.
These aren’t the only things that happen, but these are some of the most common things I’ve seen happen as I’ve sat in courtrooms for the last nine years, both as an attorney and as a judge, and watched non-attorneys attempt to represent themselves.
Judges cannot help you present your case, or tell you want you need to do to tender evidence at a hearing or trial. Attorneys are trained on the rules of court and how to present cases, while most non-attorneys are not.
If it’s important enough that you want to have a trial on the case, then it’s probably important enough to involve an attorney.