In most criminal cases, individuals have the right to legal representation, even when they cannot afford it. However, this is not the case with civil cases or with traffic violations.
Individuals that require a court-appointed attorney must prove that they do not have the financial means to hire an attorney. The individual must show that they do not have ample savings or access to loans which could be used to pay for legal representation.
In court, court-appointed attorneys must work for their clients in the manner they would if they had been hired directly by the client. Although the State generally has lawyers on retainer to appoint in such matters, the court does have jurisdiction to ask other lawyers to represent an individual.