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Frequently Asked Questions

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    There is 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 for most cases is approximately $144 (or $169 if the offense occurred in a school zone). Due to legislation updates, state fees are subject to change, in addition to the fine assessed by the court.
    Can I enter by plea by phone?
    Due to the pandemic, the Texas Supreme Court is now allowing you to plea by phone. To avoid having to come in person to court please call 979-764-3683 to make your plea by phone.
    I am unable to make my payment by the due date, 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.
    Can I take defensive driving again within a 12 month period?
    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?
    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", 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.
    Do I have to appear with my parent or legal guardian if I am 16 or under?
    No, due to the pandemic the defendant under 17 years of age and his or her parent may contact the court by phone at 979-764-3683 to make a plea and receive the paperwork by email, avoiding having to come to court. The same is true on alcohol related charges, anyone from 17-20 years of age is encourage to call the court at 979-764-3683 to make a plea and receive the paperwork by email, avoiding having to come to court.
    How can I sign up my teenager for Teen Court?
    At this time, due to the pandemic Teen Court is not being offered. Please call the court at 979-764-3683 to make your plea and we will go over all the options, avoiding you and your child from having to come to court.
    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.
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