I am facing petty theft ($105.00) & unfortunately cannot afford an attorney. My question is.. if I have a public defender, is it similar to having my own attorney as in i can talk to them and they will give me the best options available? Also, if this is my first offense what is the likliehood that both them and the da will work with me in getting it removed? And, if i am given a pre-trial date or whatnot... and i am able to retain a private attorney by then can i do so & just let the public defender know or is it one of those things where if i don't have one on my first court date i'm permanently required to use the pd? Lastly, does the pd meet with me between the initial court date and the pre-trial where i'm given "options" as to the game plan?