TFDP provides resources for people affected by the criminal justice system. Read and download a few of our resources below.
The Criminal Record Clearing Assistance project is currently not accepting new clients. Intakes will be on hold until further notice. In the meantime, if you require assistance with criminal record clearing, you can apply for help with the UT Law Assisted Pro Se Expunction Pro Bono Clinic. Information is below.
Do you have:
- An arrest that was never charged?
- An arrest where charges were dismissed?
- A deferred adjudication?
- A first-time misdemeanor conviction?
If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," you may be eligible to clear or restrict a Texas arrest record.
How to apply for free help from a lawyer:
1.) Order your DPS Criminal History Report from any IdentoGo Location: http://bit.ly/identogo
2.) Apply for help: http://bit.ly/helpwithrecords
3.) Applicants will receive an email with next steps, which MAY include attending a free legal clinic in-person or by Zoom.
The Probation Assistance project is currently not accepting new clients. Intakes will be on hold through the end of the summer.
This form is expected to open back up on Monday, August 23.
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.