Baldwyn, MS asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi

Q: Are you supposed to be offered an attorney in a misdemeanor trial?

I plead not guilty to a poss. of paraphernalia charge. I was never asked about an attorney and the next time I went to court I was put on the stand to testify. I apologized to the judge for being nervous stating I knew nothing about a trial taking place today because if I did I would have had an attorney. The judge just said, "Well it happens." I had never been to a trial before and was definitely not well informed or treated fairly without the option to have an appointed attorney. I was quickly found guilty!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Arthur Calderon
Arthur Calderon
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland, MS
  • Licensed in Mississippi

A: Yes, you have an absolute right to have an attorney there to assist you. If you cannot afford one, then the court is supposed to go through an analysis and determine whether you qualify for a court appointed attorney. The other thing that I am seeing is that they made you testify, which you have right NOT to do.

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