You have the right to counsel. Or do you?
Above is Clarence Gideon, whose pro se petition to the Supreme Court resulted in the 1963 Supreme Court decision in the case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, confirming a constitutional guarantee of representation by counsel.
Recent budget crises across the country have been preventing Public Defenders’ offices from adequately staffing to carry the case load with which they are confronted. Some Public Defenders are even refusing to take on cases if they don’t meet certain criteria for ‘gravity.’
See the USA Today story here.