When do you get a public defender? Getting arrested for a crime in Arizona, and generally everywhere else, is only the beginning of what is often a difficult, long, and expensive process of going to court, awaiting your verdict, and then paying the price that the courts will dole out for you.
A crucial part of this is hiring the right attorney to represent you. An attorney is necessary if you've been charged with a crime. But unfortunately they are often costly.
What do you do if you just don't have the means to afford a private attorney? This is where public defenders come in.