Welcome to the City of Pottsboro

Come Play. Come Stay.
 

 

Pottsboro Municipal Court

411 Franklin Ave

Pottsboro, TX 75076

903-786-2281 ext 2

Office Hours: 7:30-4:30pm Mon. - Fri.

Closed for Lunch 11:45-12:45pm daily

Municipal Court Forms

 

 Welcome to the City of Pottsboro Municipal Court Web Site. The City of Pottsboro Municipal Court is a non-court of record and is the Judicial Branch of city government. The Pottsboro Municipal Court conducts court hearings and is dedicated in providing to all citizens, other departments and entities a fair independent, and impartial forum for handling fine only cases arising within the City limits of Pottsboro. The Municipal Court follows the procedures set forth under Texas Law and provides all persons the right to trial by judge or jury. Although every person has the right to be represented by an attorney, most citizens who appear in municipal courts represent themselves.

Branches of the Government

 

The three separate but equal branches of government are the Executive Branch (City Manager and all departments including the Police Department); the Legislative Branch (City Council); and the Judicial Branch (Municipal Court). This Court and its officers represent the Judicial Branch of the City of Pottsboro Texas government. The Court is organized into two sections, the Judiciary and Court Administration. The Judiciary is to provide to all citizens a neutral, courteous and fair forum for the trial of all Class C misdemeanor offenses arising under Texas civil and criminal statues and city ordinances. The judge of this Court is appointed by the City Council of the City of Pottsboro to preserve, protect, and defend the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and the laws of this state. The judge is responsible for processing traffic tickets, City of Pottsboro Ordinances and determining fines for persons found guilty of Class C misdemeanors. The Court Administrator and its officers are to ensure that all processes of the Court are carried out, support the Judiciary, provide services to all citizens in a timely, accurate, cost effective and courteous manner by utilizing quality employees, technological advances, and to follow general accepted principles and all duties required by law.

 

 

 

 

 

Pleas

 

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:

 

1. 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);

 

2. You have the right to hear the State's evidence and to require the State to prove you violated the law; and

 

3. 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 Pottsboro 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.

 

 

Dismissal

Some tickets may be able to be dismissed by the Court without appearing at your Court date. The following can be dismissed with certain documentation:

 

 

No Insurance

 

Expired Driver’s License

 

Expired License Plate Registration

 

Expired Vehicle Inspection Sticker

 

Failure to Change Address on Driver’s License within 30 days

 

Failure to Display Driver’s License

 

No Insurance: A citation for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility may be dismissed at no charge if the Defendant provides the Court with proof of coverage for the date and time of the violation on the vehicle or defendant.  The coverage must be verified with the insurance company before dismissal is granted.  The defendant must also possess a valid driver’s license. Proof must be brought to the court or mailed.  No faxed copies will be accepted.

 

Expired DL/Expired LP Registration/Expired Vehicle Inspection Sticker/Failure to Change Address on Driver’s License: A citation for Expired Driver’s License, Expired License Plate Registration, or Expired Inspection Sticker (not expired more than 60 days), and Failure to Change Address on Driver’s License may be dismissed for a $10.00 Administration Fee if the Defendant complies with the following requirements:

 

 

The violation is corrected within 10 working days of the citation date;

 

The Defendant provides the Court with proof of this correction by the appearance date; and

 

The Defendant pays the $20.00 Administration Fee for dismissal.

If the correction is made after 10 working days the full price of the citation will be due or a court date can be scheduled to discuss your case with the Judge and Prosecutor.

 

 

Payments

Payment of a citation can be made during regular business hours, through the mail, in the 24-hour night deposit inside the first set of doors on the left wall at City Hall, by credit card over the phone.  Payment may be made by cash, check, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card.  All credit card payments will incur a 5% convenience fee.  Make all checks and money orders payable to the City of Pottsboro.  Please do not put cash payments in the night deposit or mail; the Court is not responsible for lost payments.

If you wish to pay your citation in full by mail or night deposit, you will need to select a plea, on the plea by mail form and include the citation and payment to the Pottsboro Municipal Court.

 

 

Extensions

A 30-day extension may be granted for payment in full upon the defendant’s request.  You may request the extension in person or by mailing the Request for Extension (Request for Extension) to the Court by your appearance date.  Any late or incomplete request will be denied.  If your payment is not made in the 30-day extension 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.

 

 

Payment Plans

A payment plan may be granted to pay your citations out over a period not to exceed six months.  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 appear in person to set a payment plan with the court.  If you fail to keep this payment plan it will result in a warrant issued for your arrest.

 

 

Driver Safety Course

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

1.      You have been charged with a traffic offense under the Subtitle C, Transportation Code;

2.      You have not taken a DSC within the last 12 months prior to the date of the traffic offense;

3.      You have a valid Texas Class C driver’s license;

4.      You have proof of financial responsibility (Insurance)

5.      You are not currently taking a course for another violation;

6.      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 to dispose of your citation by completing the Driver’s Safety Course in person or through the mail (Request for Driver’s Safety Course) on or before your appearance date. You must pay the court costs and a Administration Fee totaling 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 Texas.gov -record type 3A only) There is a 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 and/or return the forms by the due date, you will be required to appear at the show cause hearing date on your approval paperwork to explain why you failed to complete the requirements of judgment. The Judge may extend the time to complete the course if good cause is shown.  If you fail to appear at this Court date, it will result in a warrant for your arrest.

 

 

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 Pottsboro for a specified time, usually 90 days.  This request must be made to the Court at your first appearance on the citation.  If you agree to pay a citation and a judgment is entered, you may not come back at a later date and request deferred disposition. 

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 Pottsboro; and

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 (Request for Deferred Disposition). If you request deferred dipsosition by mail, you will receive paperwork regarding your request from the court advising if you have been granted deferred disposition. You must return the appropriate forms to the court or it will constitute a violation of your probation.

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.

 

 

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 business days after your court date), a Failure To Appear may be assessed to each citation and an additional fee of $100 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. See section on Warrants for additional information. If you require an extension on your court date, you must apply in writing, no less that 72 hours prior to your scheduled court dateExtensions must be sent via fax, mail, or in person. No email copies will be accepted.

 

 

Warrants

If you fail to comply with or meet any or all of the requirements set by the court or fail to appear on your citation timely, the Judge may issue a warrant for your arrest, which will include additional fees. There are two types of warrants, Alias and Capias.  An Alias warrant is a warrant in which the defendant has never made an appearance with the Court.  A Capias warrant is a warrant that the defendant appeared, made a plea, a judgment was entered on their case and the defendant defaulted on payment or compliance with the judgment.  Warrants are entered into a regional computer so you will be subject to arrest at any time by a peace officer. You will need to contact the Court if you feel that a warrant for your arrest has been issued. If you cannot pay your warrant in full, the Court is authorized to make limited payment arrangements with you on Alias warrants only.  Capias warrants are due in full.

 

 

Trials

 

If you wish to plead Not Guilty and request a trial before a judge or jury, you may request a Pre-Trial hearing (See Printable Forms - Not Guilty-Trial Request) with the Prosecutor to discuss the available options and to discuss the exact merits of the case that will be disputed in trial.  If you have any witnesses that need to be subpoenaed, you will need to bring the names and current addresses to your Pre-Trial hearing or to the Court as soon as possible.

 

You may represent yourself in the trial or you may hire an attorney. If you choose to represent yourself you will be held to the same standards and knowledge as a licensed attorney in the State of Texas.

 

A trial in municipal court is a fair, impartial and public trial as in any other court. Under Texas law, your can be brought to trial only after a sworn complaint is filed against you. A complaint is a document, which alleges the act, or conduct you are supposed to have committed. You can only be tried for what is alleged in the complaint. As in all criminal trials, the State is required to prove the guilt of the Defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt" of the offense charged in the complaint before a Defendant can be found guilty by a judge or jury.

 

You have the following rights in court:

The right to inspect the complaint before trial and to have it read to you at the trial;

The right to have your case tried before a judge, or a jury, if you so desire;

The right to hear all testimony introduced against you;

The right to cross-examine any witness who testifies against you;

The right to testify on your own behalf;

The right not to testify, if you so desire. If you choose not to testify, your refusal to do so cannot be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt; and

The right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf at the trial, and have the court issue subpoenas (a court order) to any witness to ensure their appearance at the trial.

As in all criminal trials, the State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you.

 

After the prosecution witnesses have finished testifying, you have the right to cross-examine. You may ask the witnesses questions about their testimony or any other facts relevant to the case. You may not argue with the witnesses or ask them to agree to statements that you make. Your cross-examination of the witness must be in question form only. You may not tell your version of the incident at this time, you will have an opportunity to do so later in the trial.

 

After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident. The State has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call.

 

If you desire, you may testify on your own behalf, but as a Defendant, you cannot be compelled to testify. It is your own choice, and your silence cannot be used against you. If you do testify, the State has the right to cross-examine you.

 

After all testimony has been heard, both sides may make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the court why you think that you are not guilty of the offense charged. The State has the right to present first and last arguments. The closing argument can be based only on the testimony presented during trial.

 

 

Judgment/Verdict

 

If a judge tries the case, the judge’s decision is called a judgment. If a jury hears the case, the jury’s decision is called a verdict.

 

In determining a Defendant’s guilt or innocence, the judge or jury can only consider testimony of witnesses and any evidence properly admitted during the trial.

If you are found guilty, the penalty will be announced at that time. You may receive a 30-day extension to pay the judgment or verdict.