Municipal Court Cost and Fines
The fines, costs, and fees will vary based on each case. You may contact a Court Clerk to determine the amount owed. The maximum fine for most traffic citations is $200.00, but other Class C misdemeanor state law violations carry up to a $500.00 fine. The fines assessed for violations of city ordinances range between $50.00 and $2000.00. Mitigating factors may lessen the fine amount even if you are found guilty of the offense. Certain offenses may have aggravating circumstances which can increase the fine and cost/fees owed despite your plea of no contest. Court costs are mandated by state law and also vary depending on the type of offense alleged.
Court costs are incurred when: 1) you are found guilty at trial; 2) you elect to defer your case by completing a driver safety course; or 3) you request deferred disposition/probation to dismiss your citation and keep the offense from appearing on your driving and/or criminal record. Court costs will not be assessed against you if you are found not guilty following a trial on your case. The Court has discretion to order that juror service fees be taxed as costs if the Defendant is found guilty following a trial by jury. A $50.00 fee will be added to each violation on a citation when a warrant for the defendant’s arrest is issued.
Extensions / Time Payment Plans
All fines and fees are due within fifteen (15) days after the date the citation is issued. However, it is possible to obtain additional time to pay a citation if it is requested in person at the Municipal Court. If additional time to pay is requested within 15 days of the date of the citation, the Court Clerk can process the paperwork for an extension up to 30 days to pay the fines and costs due. If the fine and fees are not paid within 30 days of the judgment, there is a $25.00 State-Mandated “Time Payment” fee which must be added to the amount owed on the citation. Per Chapter 51 of the Texas Government Code, a $25.00 “Time Payment” fee is added to each citation that exceeds 30 days. If any portion of the fines, fees, and costs is paid after the 31st day from the date of judgment, the $25.00 “Time Payment” fee must be added as required by law.
It is your responsibility to notify the Court if you are unable to pay within the time allowed by the Court. If you are unable to pay your citation(s), you must appear before the Court and fill out a financial statement and set a court hearing before the Judge of the Court due to your possible indigence. If you are found indigent by the Judge, you may be ordered to perform community service under C.C.P. ART 43.091 of the Texas Criminal Law and the violation will result in a conviction on your record. Only the Judge has the authority to grant you more than thirty (30) days to pay. If the request for additional time to pay is granted, the $25.00 “Time Payment” fee will be assessed as required by State Law.