Is is true that you cannot have an attorney appointed to a misdemeanor case?

I was involved in a harassment case after I got my case number in the mail I went and did the proper paperwork to get an attorney. However no one ever got back with me, so on the day of court I was telling the lady that I asked for an attorney and she told me that I wasn’t allowed one in a misdemeanor case. So I had to defend myself and was found guilty.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every state of this country, if a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense, he or she is entitled to a lawyer to represent them if they cannot afford to hire one privately. This is every person's Constitutional Right in this country.

The issue that is see in your matter is whether or not it was a criminal harassment action or a civil harassment action. There is a big difference between the two. In the former, the result if convicted is potentially jail and/or a fine and/or a court ordered injunction. In the latter, the result is a court ordered injunction, no jail and no fine.

Most harassment cases are privately brought in the civil forum, not in the criminal court.


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