How do I get in touch with the Municipal Court?
You must contact the court during office hours. Do not leave a message for the Judge, as messages will not be returned. Leaving a message for the Judge does not allow you to pay your fine or plead your case late. You must speak with the Judge to enter a plea or take care of any other business with the court.
Where is my ticket filed?
Our court only processes cases originated by Clifton Police and Code Enforcement Officers. If a DPS trooper or Bosque County Sheriff’s Department officer issued a ticket, you need to contact the Justice of the Peace office listed at the lower right-hand corner of your citation.
What about having an attorney represent me?
You are not required to have an attorney in a court trial but may represent yourself if you desire. The Municipal Court does not appoint defense counsel. If you desire to have an attorney represent you, that is your responsibility. No one else may represent you in Municipal Court.
Can I pay my ticket at City Hall or do I have to see the Judge?
After you are issued a traffic citation, you must enter a plea by the appearance date located at the lower right-hand corner of your citation. Please refer below for the three plea options. You may make your plea either in person or by mail. When mailing your plea, you may include your fine payment by using a Cashier’s Check or Money Order. Do not send cash. The court will not be responsible for any mailed cash.
How long do I have to take care of a traffic ticket?
Your citation has a court date shown on the lower right-hand side. You must enter a plea on each violation of Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest. If you do not make a plea on each violation, a Warrant will be issued for your arrest. You may be issued up to three (3) violations per citation.
What are the Pleas?
GUILTY – You admit you committed the illegal act charged. You have no defense or excuse for that act. The Judge will accept your plea and assess the penalty. You may request defensive driving or deferred adjudication (probation), which are explained in more detail below. If you don’t want to talk to the Judge, you may pay the fine at the clerk’s office between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, or you may pay by mail. Please remember to submit cashier’s check or money order.
NOLO CONTENDERE ( NO CONTEST) – You are not admitting or denying that you committed the violation. You simply do not wish to contest it. You will almost certainly be found guilty, but you may be eligible for a driving safety course and/or court ordered probation as discussed more fully in this information.
NOT GUILTY – You deny that you committed the offense with which you are charged, or you have a valid defense. Your plea of not guilty will result in a trial at which the state must prove the charges against you.
It is unethical for a Judge to speak with you about your case before your trial. For this reason, a Judge may hear an explanation about the charges against you only after a plea of guilty or no contest has been entered, or at trial.
What happens if I do not make a plea or ignore my ticket?
If you fail to make a plea for each violation shown on your ticket, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Can I get an extension to take care of my ticket?
You must request an extension in person or by mail. If you do not pay the fine in full within 30 days of making a plea, a $25.00 Time Payment Fee will be added to each outstanding violation, as required by State Law.
Can I pay out my tickets?
Payments can be made on your tickets in some cases. You must request a Payout Agreement in person or by mail. If you are granted a Payout Agreement with the Court, and do not have the fine paid in full within 30 days of making a plea, a $25.00 Time Payment Fee will be added to each outstanding violation, as required by State Law. If you mail a cashier’s check or money order (do not send a personal check) to pay your fine, please clearly write your citation number on your payment to receive correct application of the payment.
Can I take Defensive Driving or get Deferred Adjudication for my ticket?
Unless you hold a commercial driver’s license, you may qualify to take Defensive Driving for your citation. The Judge may grant deferred adjudication in some cases.
A person who holds a commercial driver’s license is disqualified from taking a defensive driving course, and/or deferred disposition option. Articles 45.051(f) and 45.0511(s) Code of Criminal Procedure prohibit the use of deferred disposition or defensive driving for traffic offenses committed by a person who holds a commercial driver’s license. This ban applies regardless of whether the person was in a commercial or personal vehicle.
Can I contest my citation?
You may contest your citation by entering a plea of NOT GUILTY on the Reply Form. You will need to appear before the court on your scheduled court date.
What are Court Costs?
Court costs are fees that are paid to the State of Texas and are in addition to your fine. You will be charged court costs whether you appear before the judge or not. Court costs vary depending upon the type of citation received.
I received a ticket for expired registration (license plate). How can I resolve this ticket?
Legal Reference: Transportation Code, Section 502.407
Correct the expired registration within ten working days from the date the ticket was issued to you. Take your receipt of renewal to the Court on or before the court date. Present the proof (copy of receipt received at the time of registration from the Tax Assessor-Collector’s office along with copy of your proof of financial responsibility) to the court clerk at the window. You will be assessed a $10.00 dismissal fee, and the case will be dismissed, provided the proof is acceptable. You may also appear before the Judge on your court date, or you pay the fine in full.
I received a ticket for expired driver’s license. What can I do?
Legal Reference: Transportation Code, Section 521.026
Correct the expired driver’s license within ten working days from the date ticket was issued and take the driver’s license renewal to the court on or before the court date. Present the copy of the renewal card for your driver’s license along with copy of your proof of financial responsibility (insurance) to the court clerk at the window. You will be assessed a dismissal fee, and the case will be dismissed provided the proof is acceptable. You may also appear before the Judge on your court date, or you pay the fine in full.
I received a ticket for failure to display driver’s license. What can I do?
If you received a citation for “Failure To Display Driver’s License” you may appear on your appearance date and present the driver’s license to a judge and request dismissal.
I received a ticket for Failed To Maintain Financial Responsibility (no liability insurance.) What can I do?
The court can dismiss an insurance ticket if you show proof of valid insurance. Your name or the vehicle you were driving would have to be on the insurance proof, and the “effective from” and “effective to” dates would have to cover the date the ticket was issued. You may also appear before the Judge on your court date, you pay the fine in full, or you may qualify for deferred adjudication. A second conviction for “Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility” may result in suspension of your driver’s license by the Department of Transportation.
I just want to tell the Judge my story. Will he/she talk to me?
Yes, but only if you enter a plea of no contest or guilty. Upon a plea of “not guilty”, the Judge is not allowed to hear any details of the case until the day of trial. This ensures fairness to both parties involved in the case. The Judge is not allowed to discuss the case outside the courtroom and outside the presence of both parties.
Is this charge going to revoke my probation?
Please contact your probation officer – the Judge in Municipal Court does not know the requirements of your probation.
Is this ticket going on my driving record?
All citations involving moving violations will appear on your driving record. Some others such as “No Insurance” will appear as well. There are options that could keep these charges from being listed as “negative” on your driving record, such as defensive driving and deferred disposition.
Can I reset my court date over the telephone?
No. All requests for resets/continuances must a) be made in writing, b) be received 72 hours prior to your court date, c) state the reason for a reset date, and d) include any proof that you can provide.
What time and date is my court setting?
You can obtain this information from the court.
My deadline has passed to complete or return the driving safety certificate. What do I need to do?
You will need to contact the court.
Municipal Court 254-675-1761