Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Arkansas

Q: If you are out on bail does that mean you can't get an attorney appointed if you can't afford one?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
Michael Hamilton Rodgers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Dallas, TX

A: Being on bond does not necessarily disqualify a person from having a lawyer appointed to represent him/her. The person may have become unable to hire a lawyer because he spent most or all of his money on the bond. Often the person on bond didn't pay for his own release, rather friends or relatives paid his bail.

Two things are required for a person to get a court appointed lawyer. They are (1) the accused person must be presently unable to hire a lawyer using his own money/assets. And (2), the person must be accused of a crime which carries a possible sentence of incarceration in jail or prison.

Most traffic tickets carry a possible fine only as punishment, but not jail or prison time. Therefore, most people charged with these low-level offenses, such as speeding, have no right to court-appointed counsel.

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