What happens if I can’t afford a criminal defense attorney?
If you cannot afford an attorney to represent you in a criminal matter, an attorney will be appointed for you by the county in which you’re facing charges.
The thing you need to be aware of, is you have an absolute right to counsel in a criminal matter anytime you’re facing loss of liberty, any kind of jail time. However, you’re not entitled to an attorney of your choice, meaning when you get a court appointed attorney, you don’t get to chose who your court appointed attorney will be.
So, what I would always advise anyone to do, who’s facing any type of charges, would be to talk to friends, family, loved ones and try to get some help. Many times people are facing situations in which they could go to prison for the rest of their life for the charges they are facing…and leaving that in the hands of some random selection of some court appointed attorney is literally putting your life at jeopardy.
So you need to look at this just as seriously as you would if you were facing some kind of heart surgery, do you want some unnamed, unknown surgeon—not of your choice to do the operation, or do you know you want someone who will fight for you and help you get the result you deserve.