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can this be trown out? Told I can't get court appt. lawyer

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Montana falcon

I'm in Montana. When I went to the first hearing, I asked for a court appointed lawyer, but was told by the clerk that I couldn't get one unless there was a mandatory jail sentence. Now the Asst. DA tells me that the minimum in this type of sentencing is $335.00 fine and 10 days in jail.

Have I been denied my rights? Can I get this thrown out on a technicality?

A lawyer here in MT told me I should have been given an attorney anyway. I also told the Asst. DA I couldn't afford one and she did not offer any help. I need this asap. Omnibus on Monday, 9/25.



I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

Here is the Montana Law:

46-8-101. Right to counsel. (1) During the initial appearance before the court, every defendant must be informed of the right to have counsel, and must be asked if the aid of counsel is desired.

(2) If the defendant desires counsel, is unable to employ counsel, and is entitled to have counsel assigned, the court shall assign counsel to the defendant without unnecessary delay.
(3) The defendant, if unable to employ counsel, is entitled to have counsel assigned if:
(a) the offense charged is a felony;
(b) the offense charged is a misdemeanor and the court desires to retain imprisonment as a sentencing option; or
(c) the interests of justice would be served by assignment.

46-8-111. Eligibility for court-appointed counsel -- determination of indigence. (1) The court shall make a determination of indigence.

(2) In applying for court-appointed counsel, a defendant shall submit a sworn financial statement demonstrating financial inability to obtain legal representation without substantial hardship in providing for personal or family necessities. The statement is not admissible in a civil or criminal action except when offered for impeachment purposes or in a subsequent prosecution of the declarant for perjury or false swearing.

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