I'm afraid that you cannot get a public defender or court-appointed attorney on a Class C misdemeanor. I would however encourage you to do your best to get an attorney, because even a Class C theft conviction is a very serious matter that can affect you for the rest of your life. Whatever you do, please, please don't decide to just "pay the fine and get it over with". Either an outright dismissal or a deferred disposition resulting in a dismissal will give you what you ultimately want on this, namely the ability to later get the records expunged (which may take a couple of years, depending on the specifics, but is definitely worth pursuing). Especially given your age, unless you have other criminal or juvenile cases in your past, those are reasonable dispositions to expect, and you do not want to settle for a conviction. You can try asking the prosecutor for that yourself, but if you're not successful, you really do need to hire an attorney. Representation for a Class C case shouldn't cost that much--you might want to call around and get some quotes
You won't get a public defender on a class C. I would hire a ticket attorney. Their rates are reasonable and they always save you money. Plus they know a lot of ways to get tickets dismissed and how to protect your record!
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The Court will not appoint you an attorney for a Class C misdemeanor theft . They treat it like a ticket, but it's not. ANY kind of theft case has long term consequences for your future and your record. You should hire an attorney to represent you. The fees for this matter should be reasonable, and the lawyer may be able to get you deferred adjudication. If you get deferred adjudication, you can get your record sealed after two years.