Right to a Free Transcript In Texas
Trial courts have a duty to provide an indigent defendant with an adequate record on appeal. Abdnor v. State, 712 S.W.2d 136, 139 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986).
To be entitled to a free record, appellant must:
(1) exercise due diligence in asserting his indigency including the timely filing of his affidavit .., and (2) sustain the allegations of his affidavit as to indigency at the hearing." Abdnor, 712 S.W.2d at 140-41; see TEX. R. APP. P. 20.2 (motion and affidavit must be filed within the time for perfecting appeal).
If a timely motion and affidavit are filed, the trial court conducts a hearing at which the appellant bears the initial burden of coming forward with evidence substantiating his sworn allegations. Snoke v. State, 780 S.W.2d 210, 213 (Tex. Crim. App. 1989).
In determining whether the defendant has met his burden, the court must consider only the defendant's personal financial condition at the time of the hearing. Id.; Abdnor, 712 S.W.2d at 142.
Thus, the resources of relatives and friends are irrelevant unless those persons are legally bound to pay for the defendant's appellate expenses. Snoke, 780 S.W.2d at 213; Abdnor, 712 S.W.2d at 142.
And, while the court may consider that a defendant has retained counsel for trial or appeal or posted bond, these facts are not determinative on the question of indigency. Abdnor, 712 S.W.2d at 142-3.
An appellant who makes a prima facie showing of indigency is entitled to a free record unless the State presents evidence refuting the claim. Snoke, 780 S.W.2d at 213; Crauder v. State, 933 S.W.2d 273, 275-76 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, no pet.).