Can I Represent Myself?

Yes you can, but there is an old saying in the legal profession that he who represents himself has a fool for a client. If you have considered the alternatives and still want to represent yourself, you need to learn how a misdemeanor is prosecuted. It is the prosecutor´s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime.

The prosecutor will present evidence first. This usually involves calling as a witness the police officer who gave you the citation. After the officer testifies you will have an opportunity to ask him or her questions. The prosecutor sometimes calls additional witnesses.

After the prosecutor has finished putting on evidence, it is your turn. You (the defendant) may take the oath and testify for yourself. If you do so, the prosecutor can ask you questions after you testify. You may also call other witnesses who can help your case.

After you have finished presenting your evidence, the prosecutor has the option of calling rebuttal witnesses. The prosecutor and then the defendant will each have an opportunity to summarize their arguments to the judge before the trial is over.