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I Received a Citation
 

Located above your signature on your citation is an Appear on or before date. This
date is approximately 10-12 days from the date of your citation. You will need to appear or comply by this date. If you are a juvenile (under the age of 17) please refer to the Juvenile section to handle your citation. You may take care of your citation(s) at the Court office during business hours, or by mail, if you do not wish to appear before the Judge. 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.

 

Plea
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 following:

 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 charge).

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.

Juveniles
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 Palmer 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 with the Court until the final disposition of the citation.

(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 appellate court.

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.

Dismissals

Some tickets may be able to be dismissed by the Court without appearing on your Court date. The following can be dismissed with certain documentation, and a dismissal fee.

 

    FMFR - Insurance - no fee IF you provide proof to the court

    Failure to change address on driver's license within 30 days

    Failed to provide valid driver's license on demand

No Insurance: A citation for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility may be dismissed with no fee. If you provide proof to the court showing you were insured the date you received the citation. 

If the violations are corrected within 20 working days from the offense date or on or before your original court, the defendant may pay the following dismissal fees.

$20.00 dismissal fee on:

    Expired Inspection

    Expired Registration

    No Driver's License

    Expired Driver's License

    Failure to change address on driver's license

$10.00 dismissal fee on:

    Obscured License Plate

    Defective Equipment

    Failed to provide valid Driver's License

Appeals
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.

Payment Plan
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 citation 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.

Failure to Appear
If you fail to appear on your citation in person, by mail, or by attorney on or before your appearance date on your citation (10-12 business days from the issued date), a Failure to Appear may be assessed to each citation and an additional fee of $199.00 will be due on each citation. A warrant for your arrest may be issued at any point after the Failure to Appear has been assessed or you may result in denial of renewal.

Deferred Disposition (Probation)

With a plea of guilty or no contest, you may be eligible for deferred disposition, more commonly known as probation.  This is an informal probation in the City of Palmer for a specified time, usually 60 days.

As of September 1, 2003 you are not eligible for Deferred Disposition if you possess a Class A or B driver’s license, even if you are in a personal vehicle.

You are eligible if:

1. You have a Class C Texas Driver’s License;
2. You are not currently participating in Deferred Disposition in the City of  Palmer;
3. You have not received a citation for a traffic violation in a construction zone.
    (Pedestrian, Inspection, and Seatbelt violations are eligible)

If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you may request Deferred Disposition in person or through the mail (See printable forms Courtesy Letter).

If you request deferred disposition by mail, (if granted) you will receive a deferred order from the Judge.

Comply with the following conditions ordered by the Judge.
      Commit no offense against the laws of the State in the City of Palmer
      Pay the adjusted fee within 30-days.

At the end of your probation, your case will be reviewed and if you have successfully completed all of the probation requirements the Judge will dismiss your citation and it will not be reported to the Department of Public Safety or appear on your driving record.

Defensive Driving
In some cases the Defendant may be able to complete a Driver’s Safety Course (DSC). You may be eligible if:

• You have been charged with a traffic offense under the Subtitle C,
  Transportation Code; 
• You have not taken a DSC within the last 12 months prior to the date of the traffic
  offense; 
• You have a valid Texas Class C driver’s license; 
• You have proof of financial responsibility (Insurance) 
• You are not currently taking a course for another violation; 
• You have not committed on of the following offenses: Speeding 25 mph over the
  speed limit; Failure to give information at the accident scene; Leaving the scene
  of an accident; Fleeing or attempting to elude police officers; Reckless driving;
  or passing a school bus.

As of September 1, 2003 you are not eligible for Deferred Disposition if you possess a Class A or B driver’s license, even if you are in a personal vehicle.

If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you may request a Driver’s Safety Course in person or through the mail (see Printable Forms) on or before your appearance date.  You must pay the $107.10 at the time of the request. You may not attend a Driver’s Safety Course until your request has been granted by the Court. If granted, your case will be suspended for 90 days for you to attend a DSC, obtain a copy of your driving record from the State and return your driving record and course completion certificate to the Court. (The Court will provide you with a form to send to the State to request your driving record or you may request a copy online at TexasOnline.com -record type 3A only) There is a $10 fee to obtain your record from the State (additional fees for obtaining a copy online). You may attend any class that is approved by the Texas Education Agency. If you do not complete the course by your due date, you will need to pay the remaining balance
   
Contact the Palmer Municipal Court Staff. We are here to help!

Here to Help

The staff at the Palmer Municipal Court is here to help. Contact us for more information.


Pay Citation

You can PAY YOUR CITATION ONLINE at:
You must have your citation number and the amount of your citation. If you do not have this information please contact the court @ 972-449-3272.

http://www.texasonlinerecords.com/jop/?county_id=65