There are good and bad private lawyers and there are good and bad public defenders. If you can afford an attorney then you aren't entitled to to a public defender. Hire a lawyer and s/he would be able to advise and guide you.
In Mobile, private attorneys handle all court appointments. As you've read, some are better than others. If you can afford it, you must hire your own lawyer. If not, you should find local counsel as soon as possible. Most of us offer free consultations.
Hire an attorney if you can afford it. You decide their fees and pick who you want. There are some very good appointed lawyers if you can't afford one.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.