When you have been arrested, you are entitled to have an attorney represent you and help you in your case. There are a few different ways that you can get an attorney to help you.
One way that you can get an attorney is to get one through the public defender's office. These are attorneys who are assigned to help out people who can't afford an attorney or who are otherwise unable to get one. Many times, a public defender can start off your case and help you through the early part of the process, like representing you while you are being questioned by the police or when your arraignment is happening, and if you can get a private attorney, the public defender can go ahead and hand off their notes to the attorney that you hire.
Another option is for you to hire a private attorney. This would be an attorney who has a private practice and who you would hire and pay out of pocket to handle your case. You would be able to pick which attorney you have to defend you. If they have a large practice, the attorney you hire may also have assistants and paralegals who can work on your case and help out your attorney. Even if you have a limited income, you may still be able to work with a private attorney, since some practices will have attorneys who do free work or work on a sliding scale for people who need it.
Law clinics are another way that you might be able to get the criminal defense that you need. These clinics are often associated with law schools and are staffed with law students. They may have a fee associated with them, but that fee may be on a sliding scale. This would be a good option if the crime you have been charged with is a relatively minor one. That's because the clinics are generally law students and new lawyers, who are working under the supervision of a more experienced attorney.
If you have been arrested, you want to make sure that you have the legal protection that you deserve and that you are entitled to. There are a number of ways that you can get the criminal defense attorney that you need. You may use just one of these ways, or you may end up starting with one method and ending up with another.