Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Dear JACUSTOMER - He is permitted to represent himself but frankly I would never recommend anyone to represent themselves in a criminal case with the exception of minor traffic violations. If he cannot afford an attorney he can ask the court to appoint one but he should be represented. I also would not recommend pleading guilty before he consults with an attorney since there may be a possibility for a reduction of the charges or the attorney may find some violation of his rights by the cops during or after the arrest.
Once he pleads guilty he is at the mercy of the court whereas if he has an attorney the attorney can try to pre arrange a deal so he will know where he stands. So the answer to your question is yes, he can represent himself but I would not advise doing so.