Information You Should Know About Your Ticket
Just because you were issued a citation does not mean you are guilty of the offense charged. Based on the merits of each individual case, a judge or a jury will determine the verdict of each case. You may have an attorney represent you in court if you desire, however, this is not required. Most defendants in Municipal Court do not use attorneys.
Cases heard in Municipal Court are "Class C" misdemeanors. If a verdict of "guilty" is found, a fine will be assessed. In most cases the fine cannot exceed $500 plus "court costs" which remain the same whether you pay your fine or have a trial.
You Have The Right To A Trial by Jury
You have the right to have a jury trial by six persons of this community. You may waive this option and have the case heard before a Municipal Judge. If you wish to have a trial, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense charged. To do so, they will introduce evidence and call witnesses to testify. You or your attorney will be given an opportunity to cross examine or question any witnesses called by the state. You may call witnesses on your behalf. You may request the court to have necessary witnesses and/or evidence subpoenaed.
At the trial, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to testify. If you choose not to testify, the judge or the jury cannot use the fact that you did not testify as evidence against you. To enter a plea of not guilty, and be set for trial, you must appear in court no more than 14 calendar days after you receive your citation. Arraignment hours are listed on your citation.
A bond may be required for setting a case for trial. If a cash bond is posted and you are found "not guilty," the bond posted will be refunded. If you are found "guilty" the bond or parts will be applied toward the assessed fine.
If you have decided you do not want a trial and wish to enter a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty, you may pay your fine by mail or at the Municipal Court-Cashier Window. You may find a list of most offenses and fines by clicking on Standard Fines. If your offense and corresponding fine does not appear on the page, you may call (432) 685-7315 for more information, or see the judge at the times listed on the Location and Hours page. Some citations may be paid online by clicking on the Pay Ticket button.
Even if you wish to plea nolo contendere or guilty, you may see the judge and explain any circumstances surrounding your offense. After listening to your side, the judge will assess the fine.
If You Do Not Appear In Court
If you fail to appear in court or by letter within 14 calendar days after the citation was received you may be charged with "failure to appear" and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You may not enter an appearance by phone.
You may be able to have your citation dismissed by taking a Driving Safety Course or through Deferred Disposition. However, you will lose that right if you do not provide an oral or written request to the court on or before your appearance date of your desire to do so.
Rules / Policy
- All persons 16 or under must appear before the judge and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
- If you are under the age of 21 and have been charged with an alcohol related offense you must appear before a judge. If you are under the age of 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
- If you are under the age of 18 and have been charged with tobacco related offense you must appear before a judge and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.