If possible call a federal public defender as this is a violation of constitutional proportions.
My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.
Great question. I was a county court judge for 7 years in Cortez, CO. Understand that in CO, CO statute specially says that you do NOT have the right to court-appointed counsel at all if the prosecutor is not seeking jail in your case. That applies to petty offenses that do not carry the possibility of jail as well as misdemeanors and DUIs that carry the possibility of jail but the DA is not seeking jail.
So, the big question is whether the prosecutor is seeking jail if you are convicted or not. If they are not, that means that you do not qualify for a court-appointed attorney and if the public defender would be appointed, they would appeal the judge and would be victorious, because the judge would not be following Colorado statute.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.
I know of no limitation on the number of hours that either the Public Defender or a Court Appointed Attorney can spend on your case. Funding is tight but I agree with you, working on your case for only 20 hours and then dropping you does not seem fair. Call the Public Defender's Office. If they can't help, call the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. Perhaps they can help you sort this out. Best of luck to you.
You mentioned a counterclaim, but this is only a civil remedy, and you're not entitled to a court appointed attorney for any civil matter. Also, you seem to be concerned that getting rid of the warrant will take up the majority of the 20 hours, but this is normally an easy process that requires minimal time. Most misdemeanors can be resolved with about 20 hours of work, but if more is required there is no applicable state statute or constitutional principal that allows a court to limit the amount of time an attorney spends on your case.