You can get PC100 with a Public Defender. However, because it's only 3 pills there may be an alternative resolution that would not involve a 6 month progarm and you could still avoid a conviction. You are not as likely to get to get the alternative with a Public Defender as you are with a skilled private attorney.
If you're eligible for the program, a public defender can certainly get you in. If you hire a private lawyer, at least regarding this single issue, the result will likely be the same as if you got a PD.
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Your eligibility doesn't matter whether you have a public defender or a private attorney.
There may be a little bit more time spent on your case by a private attorney, potentially uncovering other defenses and issues.
A public defender is not automatic. You must first financially qualify.
The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.
If you cannot afford to hire private counsel, the court will appoint the public defender. You can always go to your arraignment, scope it out, meet the PD and see how you feel. If you don't have confidence in the PD, or feel that you'd be better off with an attorney of your choosing, hire one. The court will give you about two weeks if you request more time to hire an attorney. You can also contact some private attorneys ahead of time for free consultations. If you are able to get PC 1000 without spending money on an attorney, great. If not, most likely no harm done.
The public defender must be appointed based on being indigent. You'll have to fill out a financial declaration to see if you qualify. You are entitled to PC1000 as a matter of right by statute. Technically, you can get it by yourself pro per. However, I'd advise you to get an attorney because there may be other issues that can effect your case that may get a better result.
If you qualify for PC 1000, the public defender will likely get you the program. Before considering PC 1000, you should consult with private criminal defense lawyers first to see if you have any defenses to the charges for a complete dismissal. Most criminal defense lawyers on AVVO provide free consultation.
Hiring a public lawyer vs a private lawyer is typically a function of the amount of time the attorney can put in. Private attorney are hired for their time and expertise. Your eligibility is determined, though, by the law and not the lawyer you hire. Many private attorneys offer free consults including our firm. Good luck.
I always advise hiring a private attorney if you have the means to do so. Public Defenders are good attorneys, but they have extremely busy caseloads. A private attorney will typically manage their caseloads in such a way that they spend considerably more time on their cases. For example, you may not be presumptively eligible for PC1000. However, proper research and investigation may make you eligible. An attorney with more time to dedicate to your case may therefore have more success.