Options After Receiving a Citation
When you receive a citation, the options you have to resolve your case can vary depending on many different factors including but not limited to: the type of violation, the severity of the violation, the age of the defendant, etc.
The first thing you will need to do is enter a plea on or before your appearance date. Once you enter a plea, you may be scheduled for a court date, or you may have the option of disposing of the case without appearing in open court. If your situation allows you to resolve the matter without appearing in open court, you may pay the fine, provide proof for expired violations or insurance matters, or you may be eligible for an alternative sentencing option such as deferred disposition(deferred adjudication), or a driving safety course.
Entering a Plea
You must decide upon and enter a plea to the charge against you on or before the appearance date on your citation. If you signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, but only signed a promise to appear in court. There are 3 possible pleas to a complaint:
- "Nolo Contendere"
- "Not Guilty"
Plea of Guilty
By a plea of guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense for your act. Before entering your plea of guilty, you should understand the following:
- The State has the burden of proving its case against you. The law does not require you to prove anything. You have the right to hear the State's evidence and to require it to prove its case against you.
- If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of the alleged offense, your plea of guilty could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission that you were at fault or were the party responsible for the accident.
A plea of "nolo contendere" means you do not contest the State's charge against you. You will be found guilty upon a plea of "nolo contendere," but it is not an admission by you that you are guilty. Also, a plea of "nolo contendere" or "no contest" cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damages as can a plea of guilty.
A plea of guilty or "nolo contendere" and a waiver of trial may be entered by mail before the trial date. You should be prepared to pay your fine upon entering a plea of guilty or "nolo contendere".
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt in this and that the State must prove what it has charged against you.
If you plead not guilty, you have the right to a trial by judge or jury. You will need to decide whether to employ a lawyer to represent you at trial. You may defend yourself, but no one except a lawyer may represent you.
If you defend yourself, please be advised that the Bedford Municipal Court is a Court of Record. All proceedings will be conducted according to the rules of criminal procedure and the rules of evidence. If you choose to represent yourself, you must be prepared. The court staff, bailiff, prosecuting attorney or Judge cannot act as your attorney by providing legal advice or legal assistance in the presentation of your case.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On a plea of not guilty, a trial is held and the State is required to prove what it charges in the complaint, "beyond a reasonable doubt," before a guilty verdict can be reached.
Under Texas law, you can be brought to trial only after a formal complaint is filed. The complaint is the document that alleges what you are alleged to have done, and the fact that such action is unlawful. You can be tried only for what is alleged in the complaint. Trials are conducted under the Code of Criminal Procedure as adopted by the Texas Legislature. These laws may be found in Chapter 45 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
You have the right to inspect the complaint before trial and have it read to you at the trial itself.
You are entitled to hear all testimony introduced against you.
You have a right to cross-examine any witness who testifies against you.
Testify On Your Own Behalf
You have the right to testify in your own behalf. You also have the right not to testify. If you choose not to testify, your refusal cannot be considered in determining your innocence or guilt of the charge.
You may call witnesses to testify in your own behalf at the trial, and have the right to have the Court issue subpoenas to these witnesses to ensure their appearance at the trial.
Presenting the Case
As in all criminal trials, the State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. You will have the right to cross-examine each prosecution witness. In other words, you can ask the witness questions about their testimony. However, you cannot argue with the witness. Your cross-examination of the witness must be in the form of questions only. Do not attempt to tell your version of the incident at this time - you will have an opportunity to do so later if you testify.
After the State has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident, but the witnesses can testify only about matters of which they have personal knowledge.
Testify On Your Own Behalf
If you choose, you may testify on your own behalf. Since you are the defendant, you cannot be compelled to testify. It is your choice, you may do as you wish, and your silence cannot be used against you.
The State also has the right to cross-examine all witnesses called by you. If you testify in your own behalf, the State may cross-examine.
After testimony is concluded by both sides, you can make a closing argument by telling the Court why you feel that you are not guilty of the offense charged. But such a statement can only be based on the testimony heard during the trial. Additional testimony is not admissible in the closing argument.
The verdict will be based on the testimony and the facts presented during the trial. In making the determination, the judge or jury can only consider the testimony of the witnesses who testify under oath. If found Not guilty, you will be acquitted of the charges. If you are found guilty, the judge will announce the penalty at that time.
The amount of fine assessed by the court is affected only by the facts and circumstances of the case. Mitigating circumstances may lower the fine, even if you are guilty. On the other hand, aggravating circumstances may increase the fine. In no case may the fine exceed $200 for most traffic violations; $500 for certain penal code violations, and $200 to $2,000 for certain city ordinance violations.
Please see the payment options pagefor an explanation on how to pay your citation or please contact the Municipal Court.
Court costs will be charged if you are found guilty and assessed a fine, regardless of the amount. Court costs in the municipal court are set by the State, not by the court. Court costs must also be charged even if the fine is suspended and final disposition of your case is dismissed under the Deferred Disposition procedure.
The Bedford Municipal Court is a Court of Record; all may be appealed in certain circumstances in accordance with procedures established by Subchapter KK, Chapter 30, Texas Government Code. Appeals are limited to a review of errors present in the record of the trial court.
You will not be given a new trial in the appellate court, although that court may order a new trial if your appeal is successful in certain particulars. A transcript and statement of facts will be necessary if you choose to appeal. You will be responsible for paying for the preparation of those items.
The Municipal Court has no jurisdiction over damages caused by an auto accident. Settlement of damages is a matter for a civil court to decide.
You must respond to the infraction within 15 days of the date of violation. You must respond in writing. Untimely hearing requests will not be processed and the risk the imposition of a statutory failure to respond fee.
If you wish to pay the infraction, pay online or mail the infraction along with your payment (check or money order) made payable to:
3000 Rockefeller Ave. M/S 508
Everett, WA 98201
If you would like a payment plan fill out a Signal Payment Plan and forward a copy to the Court at the above address.
Alive at 25 Program
If you were under 25 years of age at the time you were cited with your infraction(s), you may request permission from the judge to attend a four-hour in-person interactive class designed for young drivers in exchange for a dismissal of your infraction(s) upon completion. Information about the class is available at www.sdc.coursestorm.com. If the judge grants permission, you will be required to pay $139 to register for the class and you must provide proof of a valid driver’s license and insurance at the time you attend. Request permission for this option by completing the reverse side of this form; the court must receive it by fax or mail at least 5 business days prior to your scheduled court date.
Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving
Operated in partnership with NSC, Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving (ADD) is a six (6) hour multimedia course recommended for drivers age 21 and older with multiple traffic violations and those with poor driving behaviors who need a catalyst for positive change. The course is designed for court referrals and drivers who exhibit continuing patterns of risky and overly aggressive driving behaviors. This course requires Judicial approval for an infractions or criminal matters.
Relicensing Accountability Program
The Relicensing Accountability Program is for people whose driving privileges are currently suspended and are holding up their ability to obtain a driver’s license. This court works with all Snohomish County District Court Divisions (Cascade, Everett, Evergreen, South). Candidates must be referred to the program through the following four outlets: Judge, Probation, Embedded Social Worker, Resource Center.
A deferred finding results in a dismissal of the traffic infraction. You are eligible for a deferred finding for one moving and one non-moving infraction within a seven-year period so long as you do not hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) and you were not operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the violation. The judge will decide whether to grant you a deferred finding. If granted, you will be required to pay an administrative fee of $139 within 30 days (no exceptions), and your infraction(s) will be dismissed upon payment. Request a deferred finding by completing the reverse side of this form; the court must receive it by fax or mail at least 5 business days prior to your scheduled court date.
If you believe you did not commit the infraction, you may request a hearing and appear in person or submit a Written Statement. At the hearing, the State/City must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that you committed the infraction. You may require witnesses, including the officer, who issued the notice, to appear at this hearing. The Court will notify you in writing of the hearing date and how to request that witnesses be present.
If you agree that you committed the infraction but would like to explain the circumstances, the Court will notify you in writing of the hearing date or you may appear in person or submit a Written Statement. You may not require witnesses to appear at the hearing, but they may attend voluntarily.
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Individuals with an outstanding citation or warrant in the City of Arlington now have another option to resolve the issue through the city's Citation and Warrant Resolution Drive.
Arlington allows its residents to appear in court anytime to clear outstanding balances without the worry of being arrested for Arlington Municipal Court warrants, otherwise known as Safe Harbor Court.
Individuals with warrants still have options, such as waived collection agency fees by the City of Arlington Municipal Court on warrants paid in full during the campaign.
"Our goal is to work with the community and explain that there are options available, both online and in-person, for defendants to comply with court obligations," Court Administrator Jake Medrano said.
The program will be in place until March 15.
The City of Arlington Municipal Court is open every weekday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for court clerk customer services and payments. Social distancing, sanitation protocols and face masks are required.
Arlington residents are able to pay their citations in a variety of ways listed here.
- Irving, TX
- Coppell, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Plano, TX
- McKinney-Frisco, TX
- Waco, TX
- Round Rock, TX
- Cedar Park-Leander, TX
- North Austin-Pflugerville, TX
- East Austin, TX
Press release from the City of Arlington:
February 22, 2021
Do you have an outstanding citation at the Arlington Municipal Court and want to know what your options are? Do you have a warrant and are worried about being arrested and don't know where to turn? The Arlington Municipal Court wants to help explain your options and work with you to resolve your citation. The Arlington Municipal Court is proud to announce that we will be conducting a Citation and Warrant Resolution Drive from Feb. 22 to March 15, 2021.
Find out what's happening in Arlington with free, real-time updates from Patch.
The Arlington Municipal Court continues to be a Safe Harbor Court, which means that anyone may appear in court at any time to resolve their outstanding cases without the fear of being arrested for Arlington Municipal Court warrants. If a warrant has been issued on the citation, there are still options. The City of Arlington Municipal Court will waive collection agency fees on warrants paid in full during the campaign. Anyone with an outstanding citation is encouraged to call, email, visit the City website, or come to the court in-person to take the necessary steps to resolve the matter.
"The safety and well-being of all who interact with the Arlington Municipal Court is of the highest importance. Our goal is to work with the community and explain that there are options available, both online and in-person, for defendants to comply with court obligations," Court Administrator Jake Medrano said.
Find out what's happening in Arlington with free, real-time updates from Patch.
The City of Arlington Municipal Court remains open to the public and is following the normal business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for court clerk customer services and payments. The Arlington Municipal Court is located inside the City Tower at 101 S. Mesquite St., at the northeast corner of Abram and Mesquite streets. Please note that In-person hearings and trials are currently suspended.
The Municipal Court continues to enforce strict social distancing and sanitation protocols in all public areas in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Arlington Municipal Court is the first court in the nation to have achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ facility accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. GBAC STAR™ is the cleaning industry's only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities. To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Court demonstrated compliance with the program's 20 core elements, which ranged from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures.
"The Court has taken extensive measures to protect all participants through social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning protocols. Providing access and procedural justice through both in-person and virtual hearings helps to ensure that all persons may address their matters before the Court," Medrano said.
Individuals can avoid the lines by going online to pay citation at www.arlingtontx.gov/municipalcourt. For citation information, please contact the Court at (817) 459-6777 or by email to: [email protected]
Individuals with outstanding City of Arlington violations have a variety of options to pay their citations:
• ONLINE: www.arlingtontx.gov/municipalcourt. There will be an additional service fee for this payment option.
• BY TELEPHONE: Payments may be made in full by calling GPS at 1-888-604-7888 pay location #1120. GPS will charge an additional service fee for this option.
• BY MAIL: Arlington Municipal Court: P.O Box 90403, Mail Stop 63-0100, Arlington, TX 76004.
• IN PERSON: Arlington Municipal Court, located at 101 S. Mesquite St.,
o Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• VIRTUAL COURT CLERK: You may speak with a live clerk during our open online sessions at: https://zoom.us/j/91611102209
• VIRTUAL WALK IN SESSION: Defendants who wish to speak with a Judge during a virtual walk-in session may send an email to the Municipal Court at: [email protected]
This press release was produced by the City of Arlington. The views expressed here are the author's own.
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Payment arlington plan court municipal
You may pay your citation online by clicking on the Point & Pay icon. Please have either your citation number or driver's license number ready. Your citation number is listed at the top right corner of your citation. If using the citation number, omit any letters or leading zeros.
A 4% convenience fee will be charged or a $2.00 minimum for payments of $50.00 or less.
The court will receive payment the next business day.
Point & Pay Online Payments
Directions to the Court can be found under 'Contact Us'
Greetings from the Gilliam County Justice Court. Within Gilliam County, there are two Justice Court locations, one in Arlington and one in Condon. The Condon Court is open Tuesdays and the Arlington Court is open Monday through Friday.
How to Respond to a Traffic Citation
Please read the back of your citation for instructions. If you would like to appear in person before the Judge, please do so on your Court date and time, which is written on the front and bottom of your summons.
If you choose to enter a no contest plea at your Court appearance, the Judge will hear any explanation you are willing to give, in order to make an appropriate decision.
If you enter a plea of not guilty, the Judge CANNOT hear your testimony at your initial Court appearance, but will set the matter for a hearing at a later time between you and the officer involved.
If you choose to be represented by an attorney the Court must be notified as soon as possible after your attorney is retained.
If pleading not guilty, there is an option to a personal hearing, a hearing by affidavit, (hearing by mail). If you choose this option (option 4 on the back of your citation), please mail your citation with option 4 checked, a written plea of not guilty and a request for hearing by affidavit forms. Hearing by Affidavit forms must be returned to the Court, along with your testimony within 14 days.
A no contest plea arises from your right to remain silent. It is your belief that although you may not be able to admit guilt, you believe there would be enough evidence to prove the case against you. A no contest plea does result in a conviction.
A not guilty plea is a denial of guilt or your belief that the case can not be proven against you.
You may also respond to the citation in writing rather than in person. To do so, please check your plea (on the back of the citation) and return it to the Court along with any written explanation or circumstances. Follow the instructions on the back of your citation.
Always make sure the Court has a current mailing address.
It is your responsibility to ensure the Court receives your written appearance (on or before your Court Date). If the Court does not receive your written appearance or you do not appear in person, a default judgment will be entered and a order to suspend driving privileges will be forwarded to DMV. This Court does turn uncollected debt over to a collection agency.
If you have received notification your debt has been turned over to a collection agency, you will need to contact that agency to settle the debt.
It is required that you appear in person for the following matters (you may not appear by mail):
Minor in Possession of Alcohol and/or Marijuana
Any citation for which “must appear” is written within the presumptive fine box
The Gilliam County Justice Court has jurisdiction over traffic and game cases, landlord tenant and small claims cases, misdemeanor crimes, and other violations. The Gilliam County Justice Court also handles municipal proceedings for the City of Condon and the City of Arlington, hearing city ordinance cases.
Landlord Tenant cases or FED “force entry and detainer” is the legal name for the lawsuit a landlord files against tenants that fail to pay rent or for some other reason, the landlord wants the remedy of eviction. Forms for this process may be obtained at either Justice Court.
A small claims case is an informal lawsuit, in which lawyers are not allowed to be involved and the normal legal rules for lawsuits are relaxed. To start the small claims process, in the Justice Court, forms must be completed, and may be obtained at either Justice Court. The plaintiff must have made a bona fide effort to collect the debt before filing the claim. $10,000.00 is the legal claim limit in an Oregon Justice Court.
Justice Court Judges also perform wedding ceremonies, and can do so anywhere in the State regardless of the County in which they preside.
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