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Court Appearances and Pleas

COURT APPEARANCES:

Entering an Appearance


If you were issued a citation, the law requires you to contact the court in writing or in person within 21 days from the date the citation was issued. If you have been released on bond you still must contact the court for a court date. You or your attorney may appear in court in person or by mail. No other person may make an appearance on your behalf. 

Failure to Appear


Failure to appear or answer on the citation within this 21 day calendar day period may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. An $80 fee is incurred on each offense when a warrant is issued. When issuing an arrest warrant for a Class C misdemeanor offenses, the relevant information is added to the state's criminal database. For more information on Resolving Warrants please call the court at 817-441-7107. 

PLEAS:

Guilty
 

By pleading guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense for you actions. If you do not see your offense list in the Offense Fines, you must call the Court at 817-441-7107 to determine the exact amount due. A receipt for you payment will be provided to you IF a self-addressed stamped envelope is enclosed with your payment. A guilty plea will be considered a conviction and recorded as such on your criminal/or driving record. You may be subject to a State surcharge. 

Nolo Contendere - No Contest 

A plea of nolo contendere, also known as no contest, simply means that you do not wish to contest the State's charge against you. Nolo contendere has the same legal effect as a guilty plea. If you wish to plead nolo contendere (no contest), you may be eligible for Deferred 
Disposition/Probation or a Driving Safety Course to keep an offense off your driving record. You will be responsible for the fees and costs applicable. If eligible you must mark the nolo contendere plea option associated with your choice and sign the citation. It should then be mailed or delivered to the Court along with the appropriate amount owed. 

Not Guilty

A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt and that the State must prove its charges against you. If you plead not guilty your case will be scheduled for the next available pre-trail hearing. You will need to decide whether you want a bench trial (trial by Judge) or a trial by jury (6 members of your peers). You will also need to decide whether to retain an attorney to represent you at trial. Only you or a licensed attorney may defend a case in court. The Court does not appoint attorneys. A plea of not guilty must be made in writing or in person and submitted to the Court within 21 days of the date of citation. 








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