Request Assistance

TFDP accepts requests for assistance from members of the public who have problems related to the indigent defense system, pretrial release, or debtors’ prison.

Please submit a request for assistance online if you:

  • feel that your request for a court-appointed lawyer was wrongly denied
  • have been detained in jail, have requested a court-appointed lawyer and have not been provided a lawyer who can advocate for your release
  • have been jailed, or have been threatened with jail, because you can’t afford to pay a ticket, fee, or other cost related to a criminal case.

TFDP staff will review and respond to inquiries that fall into the categories described above. TFDP does not have the capacity to respond to other complaints about the criminal justice system. TFDP staff will not respond to complaints that do not contain sufficient contact information.

Submitting a request for assistance is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship or a representation regarding any potential engagement.

TFDP does not represent individuals in criminal cases.

Please submit a request for assistance online via the form below or send a request for assistance to TFDP by mail at 314 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Suite 108, Austin, Texas 78752.

Our telephone intake hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 am to 1 pm at 512-637-5221.

Complaints regarding assigned counsel

TFDP does not have the resources to intervene in cases in which an individual already has an appointed lawyer or is seeking assistance with a habeas claim based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

If you currently have a criminal case pending and have concerns about the performance of your appointed lawyer – for example, because the lawyer is not returning your phone calls – please contact the State Bar of Texas’s Client-Attorney assistance program (CAAP).  CAAP helps clients and their attorneys resolve minor problems that affect the attorney-client relationship.