In movies and TV shows, court-appointed defense lawyers and public defenders are often overworked and under-prepared. Fortunately, real life in a Tarrant County courtroom is nothing like what you see on TV, at least in this context. The Sixth Amendment guarantees all defendants the right to. And, for the most part, appointed attorneys are at the top of the class.
Strictly speaking, Texas criminal defendants do not need to hire lawyers. It's possible, yet extremely foolhardy, to represent yourself. And, the Constitution includes the right to counsel. Furthermore, there are also strict competency standards when it comes to public defenders and court-appointed attorneys. In fact, in many cases, these attorneys are some of the best criminal defense attorneys in Tarrant County.
In 2016, thirty-eight Tarrant County law enforcement agencies arrested over 63,000 people. The Sixth Amendment guarantees all these individuals the right to counsel, and there are many different attorneys to chose from. Public defenders and court-appointed lawyers are available, but in most cases, it's best not to wait until your first court date to hire a lawyer.
During jury trials, incarcerated defendants almost never appear in jail clothes or shackles. Even though judges tell jurors that pretrial detention means nothing in terms of guilt or innocence, there is a very real presumption of guilt if the defendant is in jail.