TFDP provides resources for people affected by the criminal justice system. Read and download a few of our resources below.
If you have
- An arrest that was never charged,
- An arrest where charges were dismissed,
- An arrest that was dismissed after successful completion of a pretrial diversion program,
- A deferred adjudication, or
- A first-time misdemeanor conviction
You may be eligible for our record clearing services. Complete and submit this form to request assistance.
The Probation Assistance project is currently not accepting new clients. Intakes will reopen in the fall.
In the meantime, if you require immediate relief from probation-related fees, it is recommended that you follow these steps:
1. Notify your Probation Officer, in writing, of your inability to afford your probation fees. Keep a copy of this for your records as well.
-- If you are able, make some payment every month, even if it’s just $5, to show a record of trying.
2. Fill out and sign a Statement of Inability to Afford Court Costs, and also submit this to your probation officer.
3. Continue every single other aspect of probation, such as attending classes or completing community service.
-- This includes attending ALL check-ins with probation, even if you aren’t able to pay when you show up.
If you have not been able to request an appointed lawyer, or if you have tried to request a lawyer but have not received one, please complete this form.
This self-help brochure gives practical advice for resolving your traffic tickets when you cannot afford to pay the fine and are facing warrants or jail.
In June 2019, the Governor signed a bill repealing the Driver Responsibility Program. This repeal will forgive surcharge debt for over 1.5 million Texans. Texas Fair Defense Project and Texas Appleseed published these FAQ's to answer questions related to the repeal.
A misdemeanor is not a “minor” crime. If you are convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor you will be exposed to a number of penalties that will remain with you and your family long after you have completed your sentence. Many of the penalties that you will face if you are convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor are “hidden” because the judge and the prosecutor don’t have to tell you about them. If you do not have a defense lawyer to explain all of these penalties to you, you may only find out about them after it’s too late.
For Non-citizens, even a conviction for a minor offense can lead to deportation from the United States. This brochure, “Know Your Rights if You Are Not a United States Citizen and You Are Arrested for a Criminal Charge” helps non-citizens understand their legal rights from an initial interaction with the police through conviction.
Protecting your right to a lawyer and having a lawyer assist you in your case can mean the difference between getting fair treatment in court and getting railroaded by the system. This fact not only applies if you hire your own attorney, but also if you can’t afford to hire one. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, the best way to be sure you get treated fairly is to obtain a court-appointed lawyer from the courts. Knowing how to request a lawyer from the courts can make the process easier.