In state court in Texas, if you are in jail and unable to make bail, you will often qualify for a court appointed lawyer. As explained above, however, the court appointed lawyer will often be taken away if you are able to post the bond. If you have paid a significant amount of money to post the bond then the court will assume that you have the financial ability to hire an attorney as well. It is usually in your best interest to look for an attorney as soon as possible after getting out of jail because many attorneys will work out payments for the fees and the sooner you find one the more time you will have left to pay out the fees owed for representation.
If after posting bond you wish to request that the court appointed attorney be allowed to stay on the case it must be approved by the judge of the court. You will be required to submit an affidavit detailing your monthly income and expenses so that they can determine if you are indigent.
In federal court, many people qualify for court appointed lawyers. This is due to the fact that the legal fees charged for federal court representation are normally significantly higher than state court representation. In order to qualify for a court appointed attorney in federal court, you will have to submit an affidavit detailing your income and expenses and have it reviewed by a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge will determine if you qualify for an appointed attorney.
by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization