What to do if I need a public defender but have been refused one by the court?

At arraignment (for assault) I said I would seek private counsel. At the first pretrial conference I told the judge i could not afford a lawyer. The probate dept did a worksheet on me and said that I do not qualify for public counsel. I live check to check and cannot borrow the $3000 it will cost for a criminal defense attorney. How can i convince the court that I do need a public counsel. I really believe this case is a simple one and will be either dismissed or continued without a finding, but I dare not represent myself.

Asked on February 11, 2013 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I would actually go to the public defender's office to see if you might directly qualify through it. I would also go down to your local legal aid clinic and county bar association to see if there is a program to assist people in your situation as an alternative to the public defender's office.


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