Q: Under what ground are you not assigned a lawyer in pinal County
I was long formed for shoplifting given a court date I went in and told the judge not guilty they assigned me another telephonic court date in which the County attorney presented information to me and gave me options one would include a plea and I don't understand any of it and I asked if a lawyer was available because I couldn't afford my own and she told me I would have to hire one that wasn't an option because there was no jail time but they're having me sign up something that I have no understanding of so I would like to know what my options are is this legal
A: You always have the right to an attorney meaning at any point you can consult or hire a lawyer. You are only entitled to have the court appoint an attorney for you if you are indigent and the punishment may involve the loss of liberty. In some courts, the judge will appoint an attorney any time the State is seeking jail or probation, in other courts the judge will only appoint an attorney if the state is actually seeking jail to serve. Sometimes even if the state is not seeking either jail or probation, the judge can still appoint an attorney in the interests of justice.
Mike Branum agrees with this answer
It is not uncommon in misdemeanor prosecutions for the Court to refuse to appoint counsel. You always have the right to counsel. You do NOT always have the right to court-appointed (and, therefore, paid for) counsel. Most states will not appoint counsel for a misdemeanor offense.
If you are unable to afford an attorney, your best option is to request copies of the documents they are requesting you sign, including the plea deal, and ask for time to review and digest the information since you are not legally trained. Unfortunately, if you are unable to afford an attorney, your best option is likely to accept a plea, particularly if it allows the charges to be dismissed if you stay out of trouble (deferred entry of guilt or deferred entry of judgment). If you attempt to go to trial without counsel you have a very good chance of being found guilty by the Court and losing any shot at a more lenient punishment.
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