Texas State Law Library
Legal Aid in Municipal Court - Class C MisdemeanorRepresentation by an Attorney Article 1.051(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure guarantees that defendants in a criminal proceeding are entitled to be represented by counsel in an adversarial judicial proceeding. Both Article I, Section 10 of the Texas Constitution, and Article 1.05 of the Code of Criminal Procedure guarantee that defendants have a right to be heard and the right to have their counsel heard.
An indigent defendant has the right to have an attorney appointed by the court in a proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement and in other criminal proceedings if the court concludes that the interests of justice require representation. Art. 1.051(c), C.C.P. Generally, municipal courts have jurisdiction over criminal cases in which jail or prison time is not a possible punishment, except for cases of contempt. Art. 4.14, C.C.P. Therefore, except in contempt hearings, municipal judges do not often provide court-appointed attorneys for indigent defendants.