A conviction of a criminal code can have serious long term consequences. It would be poor advice to ever recommend someone represent themselves in a felony matter. Further, a person should not represent themselves in a misdemeanor trial without first consulting with an attorney to assure the ramifications of a conviction are understood. The adage, "the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client," is applicable to the non-lawyer who represents himself as well. If you are facing a felony, or even a misdemeanor, and you are thinking about representing yourself... at least get an opinion as to whether or not that is wise. Depending on the situation, you may be making a decision you will later regret.
For some situations, it simply isn't practical to get an attorney. The cost of the attorney may not outweigh the benefit. Often times, a case involving an infraction of the traffic code would fall in this category. If you can afford to get an attorney to assist with a traffic infraction, this site is not discouraging you from doing so. Further, if there is an extenuating circumstance that makes the stakes higher, (like one's job depends on a clean driving record) it seems it would be wise to acquire counsel. However, if the attorney would cost more than the consequence and you don't have a lot of money lying around to hire a lawyer, you may choose to go "pro se" (represent yourself). If you do that, and if there is solid evidence against you, do not be afraid to approach the prosecutor and say, "let's make a deal." Prosecutors frequently have deals that they will cut in various types of cases. The prosecutor simply has a job to do and, unless the prosecutor has seen you for a number of other traffic infractions, they just want to get their job done utilizing the most efficient and effective method possible. The large majority of prosecutors are reasonable. They will often work with you.