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Municipal Court Frequently Asked Questions

When I see a set dollar amount to pay on my ticket, what does that mean?


The total cost that you pay when you pay your ticket, consists of a fine plus a state -mandated fee. The state fee is approximately $107 for most cases. Due to legislation updates, state fees are subject to change, in addition to the fine assessed by the court. 

My citation says that I can only "appear" to enter my plea either in person or by mail.  Why can't I enter my plea by phone?


The Texas code of Criminal Procedure only permits pleas to be entered in person or by mail. "Contacting" the court without entering a plea during your appearance period does not constitute an appearance and can subject you to additional charges of failure to appear.

My court order says that I have a payment due on the 18th but I cannot make the payment until the 19th. What do I do?


All payments must be made before their due dates unless you have been granted an extension. The payment orders are orders of the court. If your payment becomes delinquent, you are subject to the issuance of a Capias Pro Fine Warrant for your arrest. If you find that you cannot make a payment by its due date, you must contact the court before the payment becomes delinquent. Payments made 30 days from the date of the conviction will include a state-mandated $25 time payment fee. Anyone arrested on a warrant can be assessed a $50 warrant fee.

I want to take a Driving Safety Course for my citation but I have already taken one within the past 12 months since receiving my new citation.  Can I automatically obtain permission to take another driving safety course?


No. Defendants who have taken a driving safety course to obtain a dismissal of a citation cannot automatically be granted permission to take another course within 12 months of taking the first course. Only the judge has the discretion to grant such a request.

What are my plea options?


Click here to learn about plea options.  Also, you may call the court at 979-764-3683 to obtain your options or come to the court to learn your options. The court staff can assist you by explaining your options to you as well as the court's procedures. The court staff and judge cannot give you legal advice, tell you what is best for you in a certain situation, nor tell you what your choice of plea should be.

What is the difference between a "No Contest" and a "Guilty" plea?


For our court, a criminal court, there is no difference between the two pleas.  By law you will be found guilty and receive a fine of some amount. The only difference is that a no contest plea cannot be used against you in a civil court. Also, a no contest plea is felt to be by some people a statement that they are not saying they are guilty but they are not going to contest the case. 

If I plea "not guilty" and request a trial, will I have to pay more if I lose and am found guilty?


It depends. If you are found guilty at the trial, the judge or jury will assess your fine within the range prescribed by law for that offense. For example, the fine ranges for most traffic offenses is $1-$200; and $1-$500 for most penal code offense and possibly up to $1000 or $2,000 for most city ordinance offenses. State law requires that state fees in a pre-set amount be added to the fine; these are the same state fees that would apply if your charge was paid in person or by mail. 


Can I really be arrested for failing to pay a fine or failure to appear in court?


Yes; you can be arrested for failing to pay a fine, a capias pro fine warrant, or for failing to appear in court either in person or by mail. This can include the initial appearance on the citation or failure to appear for a scheduled court date. When you receive a citation and sign the citation, you are actually signing a written promise to appear in court. If you are arrested, you may bond out of jail by way of a cash bond, surety bond, a personal recognizance bond, or attorney bond.

I'm 16 or under and received a citation, do I have to appear before the judge with my parent or legal guardian?
Yes, all defendants 16 years of age or younger who have cases in this court are required to appear before the judge with a parent or legal guardian. On alcohol related charges, anyone from 17-20 years of age are required to appear in person before the judge.

My teenager has received their first ticket and I want him to go to Teen Court. What do I do?


You must appear with your child before the judge, on your summons date, plead guilty or no contest, and request the Teen Court option. If the judge approves, he will refer you and your child to the Teen Court Coordinator for an interview.

We take pride in serving our community and hope that these questions and answers provide a better understanding of Municipal Court operations. If you have any questions, call the court during normal business hours 979-764-3683.  

What if I can't pay the fine and court costs immediately?


Anyone who cannot pay immediately will have the opportunity to complete a payment extension application. During normal business hours, our payment compliance representatives and/or the judge will meet with defendants to review the applications, determine indigency, and provide extensions or payment alternatives. Before anyone faces a capias pro fine warrant for not paying his or her judgment, a show cause hearing and indigency hearing are offered at any time the court is open.


 

Last updated: 11/10/2016 12:16:26 PM