You have a right to be represented by a lawyer in connection with your charges in Municipal Court. You may hire an attorney of your choosing. Also, the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office represents persons who cannot afford an attorney.
If you do not qualify for representation by the public defender, you should make arrangements to hire a lawyer. If you have not had an opportunity to hire a lawyer before your court date, you must come to court on your court date and ask the judge for more time to hire a lawyer.
The Public Defender's Office provides representation only for certain serious offenses in Municipal Court (including DUI, possession of marijuana, theft by shoplifting, suspended license, fleeing / attempting to elude, racing, leaving the scene of an accident, underage possession of alcohol, sale of alcohol to a person under 21, unlawful use of license, and fake ID).
The public defender represents only those persons whose income falls below a certain level. If you believe you would qualify for representation by the public defender, you must go to the Office of the Public Defender, located at 440 College Avenue, Suite 220, Athens, Ga. 30601, make an application, and be interviewed. A $50 public defender application fee may be assessed pursuant to state and local law.