Yes apply for public defender.
Don't compound one mistake with another and do a solo flight.
Attorney Bonanno's answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should carefully consider advice from an attorney hired and who has all facts necessary to properly advise a client, which is why these answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Regardless of the fact that you have no prior record, the prosecutors will not just :drop" the charge. If you believe your financial situation is such that you cannot hire a private lawyer, then you can apply for the services of a public defender on the actual court date, not before. You will have to fill out a financial affidavit and if you meet the guidelines for their services an attorney will be appointed to represent you. As Attorney Bonnano accurately points out, you do not want to represent yourself. A conviction for larceny will have a long lasting and far reaching impact upon your life down the road. Get a lawyer and let the healing begin.