Every accused person has a constitutional right to competent legal counsel in a criminal proceeding. However, not everyone has the financial ability to hire an attorney. As a result, free legal representation is provided by either the state or the federal government (depending on the forum) to those individuals who are considered indigent (i.e. poor/needy). However, if it is determined that you are not indigent, you will not qualify for legal aid.

Additionally, more often than not you are better off hiring an attorney of your own choosing as opposed to accepting an attorney that was assigned to you. This way you can determine if that attorney is appropriate for you and determine if that attorney is going to be able to give your case the attention that is needed. After all, it is your life and future that you are entrusting your legal representative with.