Public Defender

Since the Texas State Legislature passed the Fair Defense Act of 2001 (FDA), greater attention has been given to improving the quality of indigent defense services while also containing costs. The use of public defender systems is increasingly being considered as a strategy to meet these dual objectives. Prior to the FDA, only five Texas counties operated public defender offices serving adult defendants. These included Colorado, Dallas, El Paso, Webb, and Wichita counties. Since the passage of the Act, through state fiscal assistance the number has doubled.