Did you apply for the public defender and not qualify? Or are you unable to pay the application fee which is up to $200? If it is the latter, ask the judge to waive the application fee. Otherwise, if you don't qualify for a public defender, you need to get the money together to pay a lawyer to represent you or represent yourself pro se.
Also, public defenders are only available in certain situations, such as where you risk loss of driving privileges, prison time or a fine in excess of 750 dollars (consequences of magnitude). Otherwise, you wouldn't even be able to apply for a public defender.
In the meantime, try to schedule a free consultation to discuss further why you need a lawyer in the first place. Good luck with your situation.
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Many criminally charged defendants cannot afford private counsel. Most criminal cases in this country are handled by the office of the Public Defender/Public Advocate. You have the constitutional right to counsel for most criminal cases, and upon application to the court, you will be appointed a public defender IF you qualify as indigent. Some charges that are minor, will not require the judge to appoint you a public defender.
I don't know what you're charged with, but I'd recommend you hire an attorney.
I'm confused by your statement that "the public defender turned you down", that simply cannot be so. It is up to the court alone to make that decision, not the appointed lawyer.
Some foolish individuals (in my experience) do represent themselves in cases where their freedom is at risk. I strongly advise against that. We older lawyers have a saying "He who represents himself, has a fool for a client".
I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..
The Judge will not "make you defend yourself". The Court will give you an opportunity to retain counsel, whether the public defender or a private practitioner. If you do neither, you will be representing yourself, which is referred to as proceeding "Pro Se".
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Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
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The PD does not turn you down the Court does not assign the PD either because you make too much money or the offense is not one of "magnitude". That is an offense where you could lose your freedom or your license but not just your money. You will be given an opportunity to hire an attorney if you wish but if the situation is as describe the Court may make you defend yourself.
Contact your county bar association. It might have a reduced fee program in which you might be eligible to participate.
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