2 years ago
Last edited at 3:09PM on 9/17/2011
Usually you're entitled to a court appointed attorney at your first court appearance BEFORE you plead guilty, so that an attorney can advise you whether you should plead guilty or ask for a trial. In most states however, your entitlement to an attorney is limited to cases where there is the potential for jail time, such as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Most states do not provide a court appointed attorney for infractions, such as moving traffic violations, because the only penalty is a fine, no jail time. If you are entitled to an attorney and the court appoints an attorney for you, when your case is over, the court will ask you questions about your ability to repay the county for the services of your appointed attorney. You have to answer truthfully, but don't act like you're rolling in money. Make sure you emphasize your bills, expenses, loans, and the number of people you support or care for, and the court is more likely to reduce or waive repayment to the county for your attorney's services.
You would request your court appointed attorney at your first court date, which is when they will set your actual hearing date. Like I said, if you are found guilty, or plead guilty, then you have to pay for the attorney.
Most people have a 'story behind it all'. The time to discuss your story, is before you plead guilty. If you have already been sentenced, and new facts have appeared, or you have not been fully informed of your rights by the court or your attorney-- before you entered your guilty plea-- perhaps you would want to withdraw your guilty plea. To be blunt, if you just have 'buyer's remorse', this position has very little standing under the law in the USA.