Good morning, thank you for your question. I'm presuming they charged your son with a misdemeanor. Yes, in order to get a public defender, he would have to go to the arraingment and plead not guilty. Normally at that point, the court will ask what their intentions are with respect to getting a lawyer, and your son can mention that he would like to have a public defender. The court will then continue the case to a further date. There will be numerous arraignments going on, so you're son will see the process beforehand.
Though your son could plead guilty at the arraignment and simply allow the judge the sentence him, it's not advise. Even though he may have confessed to the police, it is still a good idea to have him speak with a lawyer. He may have defenses available to him, or at the very least, his attorney may be able to negotiate a plea with the prosecutor instead of "rolling the dice" with the judge.
Please let me know if you have follow-up questions.
I hope this information is helpful, even if it may not be what you want to hear. If you have follow-up questions or need additional clarification, please click reply and I will be happy to assist you further.
JUST ANSWER IS A "PAY FOR SERVICE". Please click on the ACCEPT BUTTON for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you-no payment for my time and effort is made until you click accept (even if you put down a deposit or have a subscription). A BONUS TIP is also appreciated. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!
DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.
This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.