TFDP provides resources for people affected by the criminal justice system. Read and download a few of our resources below.
Our Driver's License/ Class C Misdemeanor intake is currently closed to new applicants. We recommend looking at Ticket Help Texas for answers to common questions, sample letters, and documents that you can send to the court.
If you are located in the DFW/ North Texas area (see here for service area), you may wish to contact Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (LANWT). They have multiple offices, and you can find their corresponding contact information here.
If you are located in the Houston area, you may wish to contact Lone Star Legal Aid. Contact information located here.
Please note that LANWT (at or below 200% of FPL) and Lone Star Legal Aid (at or below 125% of FPL) have income eligibility restrictions. If you go here, then you can put in your income and household size to evaluate your income eligibility before you contact them. As noted above, LANWT's income restriction is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line and Lone Star's income restriction is at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Line.
Learn more about our driver's license recovery services in the video below.
TFDP provides free legal assistance to people who are entitled to criminal record clearing under the law.
If you think you might be eligible for our record clearing services, please complete our application for criminal record clearing services here: http://bit.ly/tfdprecordshelp.
To apply, you must obtain and upload a DPS Criminal History Report, which provides an overview of all Texas arrests, and helps TFDP determine your eligibility to expunge or seal your records. Upload the DPS Criminal History Report with your application.
For more information, please see the "Frequently Asked Questions" section on this page.
TFDP quickly became aware that their clients were often struggling in multiple areas of their lives and not just in the area that the TFDP attorneys were assisting them in. As a response to that, TFDP hired a Systems Navigator to help clients address nonlegal barriers that they were dealing with, so that this additional support might allow the clients to work more effectively with their TFDP attorney. For more details about Systems Navigation, see the video below.
The Probation Assistance project is currently not accepting new clients. Intakes will be on hold through the end of the summer. 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.
a. 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.
a. This includes attending ALL check-ins with probation, even if you aren’t able to pay when you show up.
Please note that the probation project only serves the counties of Mclennan, Bell, Williamson, Burnet, Travis, Blanco, Bastrop, Hays, Comal, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Bexar, Lee, Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton.
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. We do not offer assistance with privately hired attorney issues *unless that same lawyer was first appointed on the case.
If you are having trouble getting in contact with your court-appointed defense lawyer, this guide can help you think through how to improve your communication with your appointed lawyer and, if it becomes necessary, how to ask the appropriate authority to consider replacing your lawyer with a different one.
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.