depending on the level of the charge you should consult with counsel. The one main thing you want to look at is to see there is a way you can have this taken off of your record after the conclusion so it does not follow you throughout your life time.
Anytime that you are charged with a crime, you need an attorney. It need not be someone you hire as you may qualify for a public defender. But, there is no circumstance that I can think of where you're not better served by having the advice of counsel. Even if you appear in court and the prosecutor offers for you to pay a "simple fine and be done with it", you may end up with a criminal conviction that will follow you for years and make it difficult for you to get jobs or housing. Most attorneys do a free consultation and I recommend that you meet with someone in person as soon as possible. If you cannot afford an attorney, you need to let the court know this at your first court appearance and ask what the process is for getting a public defender. Good luck.