It’s easy to lose on some procedural grounds, and then you’re just left with a feeling of emptiness because they didn’t really get to the substantive issues that you cared so much about. Unfortunately, when you represent yourself, you probably don’t know all the procedures; and if you hire a lawyer, then the state got its pound of flesh from you because you had a pay to lawyer’s fee as punishment for getting on the state’s bad side.
So you lose either way. The only consolation is that you may say, “Well, I don’t have to deal with the state very often, so in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter much that my confrontations with the state don’t turn out well for me.” Except, of course, for the fact that the reason we don’t have more confrontations with the state is that we’ve learned to accept how they fuck us over, and refrain from challenging them when they do it, lest we have to go to court over it. It’s only in unusual situations that we would end up actually being compelled to go to a court appearance because someone decided to make us a defendant in a case, and it wasn’t the type of situation where we could just settle out of court.