Court Appearances

State law requires you to make an appearance on your case. Your appearance date is noted on your citation, bond or summons. Appearances must be made in person or in writing (juveniles have separate rules for appearances) Telephone contact is not sufficient! Your first appearance is to determine your plea.

Most violations can be taken care of at the court window Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. If you feel that you must speak to the Judge about something specific, you must appear by the answer date on citation to set up a hearing.  If a defendant fails to respond to his charge on or before the appearance date on the ticket, additional fees and charges may be filed, your Texas driver's license may be suspended or denied, and an arrest warrant may be issued.


Not guilty - A plea of not guilty means that you deny guilt and require the State to prove the charge. A plea of not guilty does not waive any of your rights. A plea of not guilty does not prevent a plea of no contest/guilty at a later time.
Guilty - Means you admit that you committed the criminal offense charged.
No contest - Means you do not contest the State's charge against you.

If you plea no contest or guilty, you will be found guilty and should be prepared to pay the fine. A plea of no contest or guilty waives all rights. 

Notice of Alternatives to Full Payment of Fines or Costs

The Judgment and sentence for the offense you are charged is the payment of a fine and cost. If ordered to pay a fine and cost, and you cannot pay, notify the court immediately.  If you are determined by the court to have insufficient resources or income to pay, the court is required to provided you other ways to discharge the fine and costs. 


You may request a 30 day extension to pay your fine. You must first enter your plea of guilty or
no contest and waive your right to a jury trial. This request must be made in person or in writing or deliver it to the court before your appearance date. You then have up to 31 days to pay the amount in full or file an appeal bond with the municipal court. If any portion of the fine and costs is paid on or after the 31st day after the date of judgment, you will be assessed an additional fee as required by Sec. 133.103 L.G.  If you wish to make your request by mail, please use the form provided below. If appearing in person, the clerk will provide the form to you. 



The law requires you to make an appearance on your case. Your appearance date is noted on your citation,bond,summons or release papers. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, or you may deliver your plea in person to the court. (Juveniles have separate rules for appearance).

You have the right to a trial by jury. You may waive a jury trial and have a trial before the Judge. A plea of not guilty means you deny the charge. If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a trial date. If you choose to have the case tried by a jury, the court will schedule a pre-trial hearing prior to your case being set for a jury trial.

You may be able to have your case dismissed by taking a driving safety course or deferred disposition (probation). *You should also note that requests for DSC or Probation must be made prior to trial and will not be granted after a finding of guilt at trial. For additional information on Driving Safety Course and Deferred Probation please refer to that section on the courts website.

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Texas State Law Library