If you receive a citation, you must appear at the Odessa Municipal Court located at 205 N. Grant Avenue, in person, by counsel, or mail within 14 days from the date that you receive the citation. Failure to appear could result in the filing of an additional charge. In addition, failure to appear or to pay or satisfy a judgment ordering the payment of a fine and costs in a manner ordered by the court could result in the denial of your driver’s license, the issuance of a warrant for your arrest, or submission of your case to an outside collection agency reporting negative information to a credit bureau, denial of motor vehicle registration in this state, or suspension of a driver’s license in another state.
Juveniles and Minors – If you are under 17 years of age, you must appear before the judge in person while accompanied by a parent or guardian. The judge requires that persons 17-20 years of age, who have been charged with an alcohol related offense, must plea in open court.
Your rights – You are presumed innocent until proven guilty (by the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt). You have the right to: remain silent and refuse to testify, request a jury trial or a trial before the judge, the timely notice of complaint and inspection thereof, hear all testimony against you, cross-examine witnesses who testify against you, the right to testify, and to call witnesses on your behalf.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving violence where you are or were a spouse, intimate partner, parent or guardian of the victim or are or were involved in another, similar relationship with the victim, it may be unlawful for you to possess or purchase a firearm, including a handgun or long gun, or ammunition, pursuant to Federal Law under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9) or Section 46.04(b), Texas Penal Code. If you have any questions whether these laws make it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm, you should consult an attorney.
Driver Responsibility Program – A conviction of an offense under a traffic law of this state or political subdivision of this state may result in the assessment on your driver’s license of a surcharge under the driver responsibility program.
Financial Responsibility- A second or subsequent conviction of an offense under the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act will result in the suspension on your driver’s license and motor vehicle registration unless you file and maintain proof of financial responsibility with the Department of Public Safety for two years from the date of conviction. The Department may waive the requirement to file proof of financial responsibility if you file satisfactory evidence with the Department showing that at the time this citation was issued, the vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy or that you were otherwise exempt from the requirements to provide evidence of financial responsibility.
Notice of Continuing Obligation – 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. The obligation does not end when the child reaches age 17. On or before the seventh day after the day the child or parent changes residence, the child or parent shall notify the court. A violation of this subsection may result in an arrest and is a Class C misdemeanor. The obligation to provide notice terminates on discharge and satisfaction of the judgment or final disposition not required a finding of guilt.
Dismissal of Citations – A Failure to Display Driver’s License will be dismissed with a fee of $10.00, if proof is presented that a person had a valid driver’s license at the time the citation was issued. An Expired Driver’s License charge may be dismissed if remedied within 20 days of the date the citation was issued and a fee of $20 is paid. A Failure to Maintain Proof of Financial Responsibility charge will be dismissed, if proof is presented that you had valid liability insurance or a certificate of self-insurance at the time the citation was issued. Submission of false or fraudulent information is a prosecutable offense.
A Motor Vehicle Registration charge may be dismissed, if the defect is remedied and proof of payment of the penalty fee assessed for the late registration of the vehicle is provided to the court by the 20th working day after the citation has been issued and a $20 fee is paid to the Court.
Deferred Disposition – The Court may grant deferred disposition and defer proceedings in a case without entering an adjudication of guilt and place the defendant on probation for a period not to exceed 180 days. All court costs and fees must be paid at the time the deferred disposition is requested. Successful completion results in the dismissal of the charge. Contact the Municipal Court for further information.
Teen Court – Teen Court is a form of deferred disposition in which juveniles and minors are tried and sentenced by a group of their peers. Community Service is often required. Allowing participating is completely at the judge’s discretion. If the program is successfully completed, the charge is dismissed. Court costs and fees apply. To be eligible, the person must be less than 19 years of age and enrolled in school, and must not have completed Teen Court within one year preceding the offense.
Alternative Means to Payment – If a Defendant pleads guilty or is convicted of the offense, the Court shall allow the Defendant to pay the fine and costs in specified portions at designated intervals or at some later date if it is found that the defendant is unable to immediately pay the fine and costs. Further, if a Defendant pleads guilty or is convicted of the offense, the Court shall order the defendant to perform community service work for a governmental entity or a nonprofit organization if it is found that the defendant has insufficient resources or income to pay a fine and costs, to discharge all or part of the fine or costs. If a Defendant is placed in jail on account of failure to pay the fine and costs, the fine and courts shall be discharged upon a finding that the defendant has insufficient resources or income to pay a fine and costs; or has remained in jail a sufficient length of time to satisfy the fine and costs, at the rate of not less than $100 for each period of time served, as specified by the Court.
Driving Safety Course – If you are charged with a traffic offense, you may be able to request that a charge be dismissed by successfully completing a driving safety course or motorcycle operating course. You must make the request by your required appearance date. To take a driving safety course for dismissal of a charge, contact the court. Make sure to have a valid Texas Driver’s License, proof of insurance or financial responsibility, and payment of your court costs and fees (contact the court for the amount due). You will be contacted and notified of the judge’s approval or disapproval. Please note the following:
Request for Driving Safety Course
- I hereby acknowledge that I will take an approved driving safety course in lieu of a conviction appearing on my driving record.
- I plead no contest and waive my right to a jury trial.
- I certify that I have a valid Texas driver’s license or permit. An exception for military personnel exists.
- I certify that I currently have Texas liability insurance where I am listed as an approved driver or a named insured.
- I certify that I have not had a citation dismissed by taking a driving safety course during this year preceding the date of the offense.
- I certify that I am not in the process of taking, nor have I completed a driving safety course that is not yet reflected on my driving record.
- I understand that I am responsible for requesting a copy of my driving record from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which will charge a fee for the record.
- I understand that I must pay all court costs and an administration fee in order to take the driving safety course.
- I understand that the driving school will charge a fee for the services, which it provides.
- I certify that I do not have a Commercial Driver’s License and did not have one at the time the citation was issued.
- I understand that I am prohibited from taking a driving safety course to have a citation dismissed if I have been charged with an offense in construction or maintenance work zone when workers were present, was allegedly speeding 25 miles or more over the speed limit, passed a school bus loading or unloading children, left the scene of an accident after causing damage to a vehicle, or left the scene of an accident and failed to give information and render aid.