How can I get information about my citation?
Please read your citation carefully as many of your questions may be answered there. Many of your options require you to prepare BEFORE your court date. Waiting until you are standing before the judge may be too late to exercise your options. Remember, a telephone call does not constitute an appearance. Any requests for action on a case must be made in writing or in person.
How should payment be made for my citation?
All payments should be cash or money order. You can also pay your citation online with a credit or debit card.
Can I pay my fine in installments?
The Court has a payment schedule available in some cases. Partial payments can be made if the proper request is made and approved.
Where is my ticket filed?
Our court only processes cases that originated with the Big Spring Police Department. If your case was issued by the Howard County Sheriff’s Department or DPS, we will not have that case filed in our court. You will need to contact the JP Court at (432)264-2226 or (432)264-2228.
Can the Judge dismiss my ticket?
No. The Judge does not have the authority to dismiss tickets.
What are the requirements for Driving Safety Course?
If you are charged with a traffic offense, you may be eligible to ask the judge to take a driving safety course to dismiss the charge. The request must be made before the appearance date on the citation. It may be made in writing. If you were operating a motorcycle and request to take a driving safety course, you must take a motorcycle operator’s training course. At the time of the request, you must do the following:
(1) Present proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) and valid Texas Driver's License
(2) Plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest);
(3) Pay court costs and an administrative fee, if required.
The case will be postponed for 180 days to allow you time to complete the course. You must attend a driving safety course that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency or a motorcycle operator’s course approved by the Department of Public Safety.
Am I eligible to request the Driving Safety Course?
You are eligible to take a driving safety course if you:
(1) Have not requested and taken a driving safety course for a traffic offense within the last 12 months
(2) Are not currently taking the course for another violation;
(3) Have not committed the offense of speeding 25 mph over the speed limit;
(4) Do not possess a Class CDL Driver's License
(5) Have not committed one of the following offenses:
- Failure to Give Information at Accident Scene;
- Leaving Scene of Accident;
- Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer;
- Reckless Driving;
- Passing a School Bus;
- An offense in a construction maintenance zone when workers are present.
What documentation do I need to bring to show the Court that I am eligible for the Driving Safety Course?
You must present a certified copy of your driving record from the Department of Public Safety that shows that you have not had a driving safety course within the preceding twelve (12) months (Requests for certified Driving Records may be made to: LIDR, Texas Department of Public Safety, Box 15999 Austin, TX 78761-5999) and swear to an affidavit that you are not currently taking a driving safety course and that you have not taken one that is not shown on your driving record.
If you do not take the course in the time required and/or fail to present the court with a certificate of completion, the court will notify you to return to court and explain why you failed to show proof of completion. If you have a good reason why you were unable to present your proof within the time required, the judge may, but is not required to, grant you an extension. Your failure to be present at that hearing will result in a warrant for your arrest being issued. An additional charge may also be filed.
I did not have insurance at the time I received my ticket, but I obtained insurance in my name after that. Will my ticket be dismissed?
To have a ticket dismissed for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (No Insurance), you must provide proof of insurance for the date and time of the citation. If the effective date is the same as the citation date, verification will be required from the insurance company as to the time the policy was purchased.
To have a ticket dismissed for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (No Insurance) for a vehicle that is owned by someone other than the defendant, the following is required:
1. Proof of insurance on vehicle ticketed.
2. Notarized statement from the owner of the vehicle stating the defendant had his permission to be driving that vehicle on that particular date and time.
How do I file a complaint against a Municipal Court staff member?
Any persons with complaints regarding treatment (not appeal of a case) by court staff shall reduce their complaint to writing and shall direct said complaint to the Presiding Judge, Timothy Green.
I just want to tell the Judge my story. Will he/she talk to me?
The Judge is not allowed to discuss the case outside the courtroom and outside the presence of both parties.
I requested a trial. What happens now?
If you enter a plea of not guilty and request a trial, the court will inform you of the trial date set. It is your responsibility to remember this date and see your case through to final disposition.
All appeals and motions for new trial shall be in conformity with the requirements set forth by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure as it is interpreted by the appellate courts. The Big Spring Municipal Court is not a court of record; therefore, all appeals are conducted in the Howard County courts of law. These trials are trials "de novo" which means that the entire case is re-tried as if the trial in Municipal Court never occurred. In order to preserve the right to appeal, a proper and timely appeal bond must be filed with the Municipal Court, that is in conformity with the requirements set forth in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Do I have to get a lawyer to go to Court?
No. Municipal Court does not appoint a lawyer. You may retain one or represent yourself.
Can I perform community service in lieu of paying a fine?
Municipal court allows some individuals to perform community service in lieu of paying a fine. Depending on the individual and the case, a defendant may ask the Judge for community service. The Judge may allow a portion of or the entire fine to be worked off. Community service is at the discretion of the Judge. All community service programs are to be at nonprofit organizations and will be well supervised.
What is a Deferred Disposition?
Deferred disposition is allowing a person to pay a fee, be on probattion, meet the requirements of the Judge and having their case dismissed. Deferred cases are the Judge’s discretion only. There are no statues that require a Judge to give a defendant deferred disposition on any case.
What are the rules regarding juveniles and Municipal Court?
The municipal court has jurisdiction over juveniles (16 years or younger) charged with Class C misdemeanor offenses except public intoxication. All juveniles are required to appear in open court for all proceedings in their cases. The parent of a juvenile charged in municipal court must be present in court with their child. Juveniles who fail to appear in court may have an additional charge of failure to appear filed against them. Juveniles who fail to appear or who fail to pay their fine will be reported to the Department of Public Safety who will suspend or deny issuance of a driver’s license. Juveniles who disobey a court order may be found in contempt and assessed a fine not to exceed $500 or referred to juvenile court for contempt.
If there is a mistake on the ticket does that make it invalid?
Even though the original ticket may be dismissed, police have two years to refile the case.
Is this charge going to revoke my probation?
The Judge in Municipal Court does not know the requirements of your probation, therefore they would not know. Please contact your probation officer.
Is this ticket going on my driving record?
All citations under 6701d of the traffic code will appear on your driving record. This includes all moving violations and some others.
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