Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Good afternoon. The public defender needs to be appointed and you can ask for it when you first appear in court. However, if the State is not seeking any jail time, the PD does not have to be appointed. You do have a legal right to fight this and can ask the Judge to appoint you the PD but if the State says they are only looking for a fine and court costs, then the Judge could deny you the appointment of the PD, so you would have to either defend yourself or retain private counsel.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!