If you wish to appear before the Judge, you must come in to the clerk's office and sign a request form or you may mail in a written request. You must respond on or before your appearance date on the citation. You will first appear at a Pre-Trial and enter your plea before the Judge. In most cases, a plea of no contest or guilty will be taken care of that same day. Upon a plea of not guilty, you will be scheduled to come back for a formal trial with the charging officer present at a later date.
Fair, Impartial & Public Trial
A trial in municipal court is a fair, impartial and public trial. Under Texas law, you can be brought to trial only after formal complaint has been filed. The complaint, rather than the citation, is the formal charging instrument, which alleges the specific offense. You are entitled to hear all testimony against you. You have the right to cross-examine any witness who testifies against you.
Judge will Determine Your Fine
If you are found guilty the Judge will determine your fine. The maximum fine for most traffic violations is $200, state penal violations; $500, and for city ordinance violations; $200 - $2,000. In addition to a fine assessed by the Judge, state costs mandated by law are also charged. These charges vary according to the type of violation.
When you come to the court there will be a sign in area outside the courtroom. Quietly go on into the courtroom and have a seat and wait for your name to be called by the Judge. Do not wear tank tops, shorts, flip flops or hats in the courtroom. Absolutely no cell phones or pagers are allowed in the courtroom.