"Self-represented defendants are not bound by lawyers' ethical codes. This means that a defendant who represents himself can delay proceedings and sometimes wreak havoc on an already overloaded system by repeatedly filing motions."
You can ask a judge to make some reasonable allowances for your ignorance of proper procedure.
But don't for one minute think that you can play him for a fool.
You can ask a Judge to make allowances, and they will too. My sister has never paid a traffic fine, ever. She always chooses to plead not guilty, and has only once had the cop turn up at court. She explained to the judge that she was representing herself, and was ready to go right now. The judge gave her a quick over view of what to expect, and was really helpful. The cop made the mistake of asking for an adjournment, and the whole thing was thrown out.