\The United States Constitution gives everyone the right to an attorney when they are being tried by the state of California in a criminal case. You do not have to exercise this right, and may choose to waive it. However, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of legal counsel prior to appearing in court.
If you do not have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney to represent you, you may not get the best possible outcome to your case. In addition, you may not be able to enjoy some of the procedural perks offered to attorneys.
First off, if you have an attorney, you do not need to appear in court at any time. The attorney is a representative of you, and they will appear on your behalf. Of course, you always have the option to appear if you would like to, but it does not hurt your case or make your case weaker, if you do not appear.
Secondly, the prosecutor will offer you a plea bargain in court. A plea bargain is a lesser sentence, or in some cases, a lesser charge, in exchange for a guilty plea without trial. Sometimes this is beneficial to the client, and it is a good option for them to enter a plea of guilty and take the offer. In many situations, it is not beneficial to the client. In the situations where it is no, it is in the best interest of the person to plead not guilty, and fight the case at trial.
However, if you are not an attorney, you have no basis to determine whether your case should be pled to, or taken to trial. An attorney does not arbitrarily make a decision. An attorney uses their experience and knowledge of the law. They analyze the facts of the case against what the Prosecutor must prove to win their case, and then conclude what is in the best interest of their clients. Attorneys also rely on their knowledge from past cases, and their familiarity with the Judge and the prosecutors. Based on all these factors, they are able to make a decision.
If you do not have this background, then you do not know what is needed to prove your case, and what facts are necessary for a strong case. If you push a case to trial, that does not have strong arguments, then you potentially face a higher sentence than you would have otherwise.
In any case, and in any situation, it is highly recommended that you atleast consult with a Los Angeles attorney. It is not advisable to face something like a criminal case alone, when you have no experience or knowledge of the criminal system.