What You Can Expect When You Come To Court
Under Texas State law, you are classified as a juvenile if you are under the age of 17. You must appear in Court with a parent or a legal guardian. You may also bring a lawyer, but the presence of your parent/guardian is still required.
You May Contest the Ticket & Plead Not Guilty to the Charge Filed Against You
If you plead not guilty, you must decide whether or not you want a trial by jury, or you can waive that right and proceed to a trial by Judge. You will have the opportunity to speak with the prosecutor on the date of your initial court hearing. If there is not a plea agreement, your case will then be set for a trial. Your trial will not be held on the same day. Your case(s) will then be reset for a new trial date at which time you may present your case to the Court. At your trial, a Judge or a jury will determine your guilt or innocence. For more information about contesting a citation, please click this link about contesting a citation.
You May Agree with the Ticket & Enter a Plea of Guilty or No Contest
If you plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), the Judge will find you guilty and assess a fine from $0 to $2,000. The exact amount of the fine will depend on the nature of the offense and other circumstances reviewed by the Judge.
If your offense is eligible, you may request a Driving Safety Course (DSC) to dismiss your citation.
Eligibility for DSC
Ineligible for DSC
You are not eligible to take DSC if:
- You hold a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
- You have taken a Court-ordered DSC for another ticket within one year from the date of this citation
- You are charged with:
- 95 miles per hour or more
- Speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
- Passing a school bus
- Committing a serious traffic violation
- Failing to stop and provide information or render aid after an accident
- Committing an offense in a construction zone when workers are present
- You do not have a valid Texas Drivers License
Note: Military Exemption: Active military, their spouses, and dependents
Guilty or Nolo Contendere (No Contest) Pleas
Request Deferred Disposition
If you request deferred disposition and it is granted by the Judge, you must be prepared to pay court costs and fees. Court costs can vary depending on the charge(s). The Judge will set the terms and conditions of the deferral order which you must follow for a period of up to 6 months. Your case will be reset, and, if you complete the terms and conditions of your deferral order as set forth by the Judge, your case will be dismissed. When the case is dismissed, there will be no record of a conviction. Deferrals allow you to receive a "second chance."
Request Community Service Hours in Lieu of Paying a Fine
The number of hours you work is determined by the amount of the fine and the violation itself. Community service can be performed to discharge the fine. It must be performed for a governmental entity or a non-profit organization that provides services to the general public that enhance social welfare and the community's general well-being or not count.
You should be prepared to pay the fine at the time you are found guilty or be prepared to set up a payment arrangement.
Important Things To Keep In Mind
- If a juvenile fails to appear at any hearing or trial as ordered by the judge, the court will notify the Department of Public Safety in Austin. DPS then will take action to suspend or deny the driver’s license of the juvenile defendant. The court also will notify the Department of Public Safety in Austin if the juvenile fails to fulfill his/her sentencing requirement. DPS then will take action to suspend or deny the driver’s license of the juvenile and you can be held in contempt of court.
- You are expected to act and dress properly and follow the rules of the Court.