Located near the bottom of your citation is an Appear on or before date. This date is approximately 10 days from the date of your citation and is your appearance date. You may take care of your citation(s) at the Court office during business hours, or complete Citation information sheet officer gave you during your stop. This may be completed and emailed or faxed to the Court on or before your appearance date. If you fail to make an appearance with the Court on or before your appearance date, a Failure to Appear charge will be issued and it may result to denial of renewal of your driver’s
license or a warrant for your arrest to be issued.
If you are a juvenile (under the age of 17) please refer to the Juvenile section to handle your citation
I Received a Citation
You have three options of how to plea: Guilty, Nolo Contendere
(No Contest), and Not Guilty.
Guilty: A plea of guilty is admitting that you violated the law and
have no defense or excuse for committing this act.
Before entering a plea of guilty, you should understand the
The State has the burden of proof of proving that you violated the
law (the law does not require that you prove you did not violate the
law); you have the right to hear the State's evidence and to require
the State to prove you violated the law; and
A plea of guilty may be used against you later in a civil suit if there
was a traffic accident (another party can say you were at fault or
responsible for the accident because you pled guilty to the traffic
Nolo Contendere (No Contest): A Nolo Contendere plea means
that you do not contest the State’s charge against you. Unless you
are eligible and successfully complete a Defensive Driving course
or Court ordered probation, you will almost certainly be found
Guilty. A plea of no contest cannot be used against you in a
subsequent civil suit for damages.
Not Guilty: A Not Guilty plea is informing the Court that you deny
guilt or that you have a good defense in your case and the State
must prove what it has charged against you. You will next need to
decide if you want to hire an attorney. You have the right to have
an attorney represent you, but the Court is not required to provide
you with an attorney.
All juveniles are required to appear in Court for all proceedings in
their case. A juvenile is anyone under the age of 17. The juvenile
and their parent or guardian must appear at the Garrett Municipal
Court office during office hours and request a court date. A parent
or guardian of the juvenile must also appear at the scheduled
court date with his or her child. Additional charges for Failure to
Appear, Parent’s Failure to Appear with Child at Hearing, and
Failure to Provide Written Notice of Current Address against the
juvenile defendant and the parent or guardian will be filed if the
parent or guardian and juvenile do not appear and do not keep a
current address with the court to notify the juvenile and their
parent or guardian of appearance dates with the Court.
Below is Article 45.057(h) and (i) of the Code of Criminal
Procedures. As of September 1, 2003 a juvenile and their parent
have a continuing obligation to appear and keep a current address
(h) A child and parent required to appear before the court have an
obligation to provide the court in writing with the current address
and residence of the child. That obligation does not end when the
child reaches age 17. On or before the seventh day after the date
the child or parent changes residence, the child or parent shall
notify the court of the current address in the manner directed by
the court. A violation of this subsection may result in arrest and is
a Class C misdemeanor. The obligation to provide notice
terminates on discharge and satisfaction of the judgment or final
disposition not requiring a finding of guilt.
(i) If an appellate court accepts an appeal for a trial de novo, the
child and parent shall provide notice under Subsection (h) to the
Failure to comply with this statue will result in additional charges
to be filed with the court and the juvenile will be eligible for arrest
upon his or her 17th birthday for Failure to Appear.
Some tickets may be able to be dismissed by the Court without
appearing at your Court date. The following can be dismissed with
• No Insurance
• Expired Driver’s License
• Expired License Plate Registration
• Expired Vehicle Inspection Sticker
• Failure to Change Address on Driver’s License within 30 days
• Failure to Display Driver’s License
No Insurance: A citation for Failure to Maintain Financial
Responsibility may be dismissed at no charge if shown on or
before your original court date.
Expired DL, Expired LP, Expired Registration, Vehicle
Inspection Sticker, Failure to Change Address on Driver’s
License: A citation for Expired Driver’s License, Expired License
Plate (Registration), or Expired Inspection Sticker (not expired
more than 60 days), and Failure to Change Address on Driver’s
License may be dismissed for a $20.00 Administration Fee if the
Defendant complies with the following requirements:
The violation is corrected within 10 working days of the original
The Defendant pays the $20.00 Administration Fee for dismissal.
If the correction is made after 10 working days the full price of the
citation will be due or a court date can be scheduled to discuss
your case with the Judge.
If you file a Motion for New Trial and it is denied or you are found
guilty, and are not satisfied with the judgment of the court you still have the right to appeal the decision to the Ellis County Court of Appeals. If you wish to appeal, you have 10 days from the date of the original judgment to post an appeal bond in the amount equal to double the assessed fine and a Motion for Appeal. The court does not provide you with any of these forms. The process necessary to appeal can be complicated and it is strongly recommended you hire an attorney.
A payment plan may be granted to pay your citations out over a period of time. The time frame will depend on the amount of your citation(s). There will be a $25.00 Time Payment Fee added to each violation that is placed on the Payment Plan. The Defendant must file a payment plan form. (if you fail to keep this payment plan it may result in payment in full, citation being sent to a collection agency and/or warrant issued for your arrest.
Any late or incomplete request will be denied. If your payment is not made in the 30-day period a $25.00 Time Payment Fee will be assessed and due per the below section of the Government Code.
Section 51.921(a)(1), and (2) of the Government Code states that
"in addition to other fees authorized or required by law, the clerk of each district court, statutory court, county court, justice court, and municipal court shall collect a fee of $25.00 from a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and pays any part of a fine, court costs, or restitution on or after the 31st day after the date on which a judgment is entered assessing the fine, court costs, or restitution." This fee will be added in advance if the Defendant chooses a pay out plan or on or after the 31st day if the Defendant fails to make full payment on their fine by the 30th day.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE FULL PAYMENT OF ANY FINE OR COST:
If you are financially unable to pay a fine and/or court costs in full
(one payment), there are other options, such as time-payment
plans and community service hours instead of paying the fine and court costs. In certain situation in which a person cannot perform community service and is also Indigent and unable to pay out their fine and court costs on a time payment plan the Court will hear evidence about your financial situation to help resolve this matter and may even reduce the fine and court costs or eliminate them completely, depending on the severity of your financial situation.