What is a Court Appointed Attorney?

Court Appointed attorneys are lawyers who provide legal counsel to people who are charged with criminal offenses and cannot afford to pay for an attorney. There is an application process to determine if you qualify for an attorney. Federal Poverty guidelines are used to determine eligibility for the appointment.

How do I apply for a Court Appointed Attorney?

In some cases, an attorney has already been appointed based on your indigence screening with Pretrial Services, which occurred while you were incarcerated.

To determine if an attorney has already been assigned, search felony and misdemeanor case settings by: the arrested person’s name, the attorney’s name, the name of the Judge or court #, or the case number

If you wish to apply for a court appointed attorney, you must report in person to Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center located at 509 W. 11th Street, 3rd floor Gault Annex, Room 3.100 between the hours of 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday.

In Travis County, the appointed attorney for criminal matters is provided by the Capital Area Private Defender Service.

View the Travis County Criminal Court data.

The Texas Fair Defense Act of 2001 requires formal and fair procedures for appointing lawyers to indigent defendants. This plan is filed with the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, and can be found by clicking one of the following link:

When an arrested person is released from jail on a bond, their first setting in the court system is called a first appearance. The bond paperwork given to the arrested person upon release from jail will indicate where and when to report to the courthouse for their first court setting. The first appearance may occur either in the court of jurisdiction or the court administration office.

The Language Access Plan was developed by the Criminal Courts to ensure meaningful access to court services to persons with limited English proficiency.

For more information, view the Language Access Plan.

District Courts

The proposed Local Rules were drafted to govern all criminal cases filed in the District Courts in Travis County, Texas.

Read the proposed local rules of the Criminal District Courts for more information.

County Courts at Law

The Local Rules govern all cases filed in the County Courts at Law in Travis County, Texas; both criminal cases and civil cases.

Read the local rules of the County Courts at Law for more information.