Appearing in Court

Under Texas State law, you are classified as a juvenile if you are under the age of 17, or classified as a minor if you are a person 17 to 21 years of age and charged with with either an alcohol or tobacco related offense. As a juvenile, you must appear in open court with a parent or a legal guardian. As a minor, you must appear in open court, however, a parent or legal guardian is not required. 

Entering a Plea

You May Contest the Ticket & Plead Not Guilty to the Charge Filed Against You

If you plead not guilty, you will be set for a pre-trial hearing with the Prosecutor to discuss the charge(s) filed against you. Your pre-trial will not be held the same day. Your case(s) will then be reset for a new pre-trial date. If an agreement is not reached with the Prosecutor after the pre-trial hearing has been attended, you are able to request a trial by Judge or a trial by jury. At your trial, a Judge or a jury will determine your guilt or innocence.

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 $500. 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 Driver's Safety Course or Deferred Disposition to dismiss your citation. If you request Driver's Safety or 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).

Important Things To Keep In Mind

  • If you do not appear in court as scheduled, a hold can be placed on your Driver’s License, or your ability to obtain a Driver’s License; and you can be held in contempt of court.
  • You are expected to act and dress properly and follow the rules of the Court.