Traffic / Non Traffic
In addition to traffic offenses, the Justice of the Peace Court also handles a variety of criminal class C misdemeanors. Some of the more common offenses include: Disorderly Conduct, Assault, Public Intoxication, Minor In Possession of Alcoholic Beverage, and Shoplifting. In cases involving alcohol violations, an alcohol awareness course is usually required. Defendants under 17 years of age are required to appear in Court with their parents.
What Are My Options?
Not Guilty Plea
A defendant accused of one of these crimes has the absolute right to plead Not Guilty and request a trial by Judge or Jury. And In accordance with your not guilty plea and request for a Judge/Jury Trial, your case will be scheduled for a Pre-Trial Hearing at a later date. At that time you will have an opportunity to meet with the Prosecutor, an Assistant District Attorney from the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s office. If you have hired an Attorney, he/she must be present on this date.
Failure to appear for a Pre-Trial Hearing or Judge/Jury Trial on a subsequent date may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and a new charge of Failure to Appear may be filed, which can incur additional fine plus court costs, if you are found guilty.
The Judge is prohibited, by Law, from discussing your ticket with you unless you have plead guilty or no-contest or the District Attorney is also present.
Guilty/No Contest Plea
You may also plead Guilty or No Contest and pay the fine amount listed on the Schedule of Fines, or you may appear on your court date to see about a pay plan or to request community service in lieu of a fine.