Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 1.051 Art. 1.051. Right to representation by counsel

(a) A defendant in a criminal matter is entitled to be represented by counsel in an adversarial judicial proceeding.  The right to be represented by counsel includes the right to consult in private with counsel sufficiently in advance of a proceeding to allow adequate preparation for the proceeding.

(b) For the purposes of this article and Articles 26.04 and 26.05 of this code, “indigent” means a person who is not financially able to employ counsel.

(c) An indigent defendant is entitled to have an attorney appointed to represent him in any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement and in any other criminal proceeding if the court concludes that the interests of justice require representation.  Subject to Subsection (c-1), if an indigent defendant is entitled to and requests appointed counsel and if adversarial judicial proceedings have been initiated against the defendant, a court or the courts' designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the county in which the defendant is arrested shall appoint counsel as soon as possible, but not later than:

(1) the end of the third working day after the date on which the court or the courts' designee receives the defendant's request for appointment of counsel, if the defendant is arrested in a county with a population of less than 250,000;  or

(2) the end of the first working day after the date on which the court or the courts' designee receives the defendant's request for appointment of counsel, if the defendant is arrested in a county with a population of 250,000 or more.

(c-1) If an indigent defendant is arrested under a warrant issued in a county other than the county in which the arrest was made and the defendant is entitled to and requests appointed counsel, a court or the courts' designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the county that issued the warrant shall appoint counsel within the periods prescribed by Subsection (c), regardless of whether the defendant is present within the county issuing the warrant and even if adversarial judicial proceedings have not yet been initiated against the defendant in the county issuing the warrant.  However, if the defendant has not been transferred or released into the custody of the county issuing the warrant before the 11th day after the date of the arrest and if counsel has not otherwise been appointed for the defendant in the arresting county under this article, a court or the courts' designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the arresting county immediately shall appoint counsel to represent the defendant in any matter under Chapter 11 or 17, regardless of whether adversarial judicial proceedings have been initiated against the defendant in the arresting county.  If counsel is appointed for the defendant in the arresting county as required by this subsection, the arresting county may seek from the county that issued the warrant reimbursement for the actual costs paid by the arresting county for the appointed counsel.

(d) An eligible indigent defendant is entitled to have the trial court appoint an attorney to represent him in the following appellate and postconviction habeas corpus matters:

(1) an appeal to a court of appeals;

(2) an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals if the appeal is made directly from the trial court or if a petition for discretionary review has been granted;

(3) a habeas corpus proceeding if the court concludes that the interests of justice require representation;  and

(4) any other appellate proceeding if the court concludes that the interests of justice require representation.

(e) An appointed counsel is entitled to 10 days to prepare for a proceeding but may waive the preparation time with the consent of the defendant in writing or on the record in open court.  If a nonindigent defendant appears without counsel at a proceeding after having been given a reasonable opportunity to retain counsel, the court, on 10 days' notice to the defendant of a dispositive setting, may proceed with the matter without securing a written waiver or appointing counsel.  If an indigent defendant who has refused appointed counsel in order to retain private counsel appears without counsel after having been given an opportunity to retain counsel, the court, after giving the defendant a reasonable opportunity to request appointment of counsel or, if the defendant elects not to request appointment of counsel, after obtaining a waiver of the right to counsel pursuant to Subsections (f) and (g), may proceed with the matter on 10 days' notice to the defendant of a dispositive setting.

(f) A defendant may voluntarily and intelligently waive in writing the right to counsel.  A waiver obtained in violation of Subsection (f-1) or (f-2) is presumed invalid.

(f-1) In any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement, the attorney representing the state may not:

(1) initiate or encourage an attempt to obtain from a defendant who is not represented by counsel a waiver of the right to counsel;  or

(2) communicate with a defendant who has requested the appointment of counsel, unless the court or the court's designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the county has denied the request and, subsequent to the denial, the defendant:

(A) has been given a reasonable opportunity to retain and has failed to retain private counsel;  or

(B) waives or has waived the opportunity to retain private counsel.

(f-2) In any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement, the court may not direct or encourage the defendant to communicate with the attorney representing the state until the court advises the defendant of the right to counsel and the procedure for requesting appointed counsel and the defendant has been given a reasonable opportunity to request appointed counsel.  If the defendant has requested appointed counsel, the court may not direct or encourage the defendant to communicate with the attorney representing the state unless the court or the court's designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the county has denied the request and, subsequent to the denial, the defendant:

(1) has been given a reasonable opportunity to retain and has failed to retain private counsel;  or

(2) waives or has waived the opportunity to retain private counsel.

(g) If a defendant wishes to waive the right to counsel for purposes of entering a guilty plea or proceeding to trial, the court shall advise the defendant of the nature of the charges against the defendant and, if the defendant is proceeding to trial, the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation.  If the court determines that the waiver is voluntarily and intelligently made, the court shall provide the defendant with a statement substantially in the following form, which, if signed by the defendant, shall be filed with and become part of the record of the proceedings:

“I have been advised this ______ day of __________, 2 ____, by the (name of court) Court of my right to representation by counsel in the case pending against me.  I have been further advised that if I am unable to afford counsel, one will be appointed for me free of charge.  Understanding my right to have counsel appointed for me free of charge if I am not financially able to employ counsel, I wish to waive that right and request the court to proceed with my case without an attorney being appointed for me.  I hereby waive my right to counsel.  (signature of defendant)”

(h) A defendant may withdraw a waiver of the right to counsel at any time but is not entitled to repeat a proceeding previously held or waived solely on the grounds of the subsequent appointment or retention of counsel.  If the defendant withdraws a waiver, the trial court, in its discretion, may provide the appointed counsel 10 days to prepare.

(i) Subject to Subsection (c-1), with respect to a county with a population of less than 250,000, if an indigent defendant is entitled to and requests appointed counsel and if adversarial judicial proceedings have not been initiated against the defendant, a court or the courts' designee authorized under Article 26.04 to appoint counsel for indigent defendants in the county in which the defendant is arrested shall appoint counsel immediately following the expiration of three working days after the date on which the court or the courts' designee receives the defendant's request for appointment of counsel.  If adversarial judicial proceedings are initiated against the defendant before the expiration of the three working days, the court or the courts' designee shall appoint counsel as provided by Subsection (c).  Subject to Subsection (c-1), in a county with a population of 250,000 or more, the court or the courts' designee shall appoint counsel as required by this subsection immediately following the expiration of one working day after the date on which the court or the courts' designee receives the defendant's request for appointment of counsel.  If adversarial judicial proceedings are initiated against the defendant before the expiration of the one working day, the court or the courts' designee shall appoint counsel as provided by Subsection (c).

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if an indigent defendant is released from custody prior to the appointment of counsel under this section, appointment of counsel is not required until the defendant's first court appearance or when adversarial judicial proceedings are initiated, whichever comes first.

(k) A court or the courts' designee may without unnecessary delay appoint new counsel to represent an indigent defendant for whom counsel is appointed under Subsection (c), (c-1), or (i) if:

(1) the defendant is subsequently charged in the case with an offense different from the offense with which the defendant was initially charged;  and

(2) good cause to appoint new counsel is stated on the record as required by Article 26.04(j)(2) .


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