When you are charged with a traffic violation, the question often arises as to whether you are automatically entitled to representation by a public defender (i.e. legal aid) in the event that you cannot financially afford to retain a private attorney. The answer depends on the nature of the violation. If the charge is a mere traffic infraction/violation and does not rise to the level of a misdemeanor, then you will not be entitled to seek representation by the public defender.
Some examples for traffic misdemeanors for which you would be entitled to legal aid if you qualified would include the following: reckless driving, driving with a suspended license or registration, driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving while impaired by drugs (DUI).
Most traffic violations would not automatically entitle the motorist to legal aid representation, such as speeding, failure to yield, tailgating, using a mobile device while driving, or various equipment violations.