Are you being charged with a 484 or 488 or something else? Your public defender should be able to explain all your options to you. In San Diego, you would be offered a deferred entry of judgement and you would have to complete a shoplifter's course.
Unless you are indigent you do not just get a public defender, their services are supposed to be only for those that cannot afford an attorney – not do not want to pay for an attorney. You will need an attorney to get yourself out of this jam.
Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.