You have 21 days from when the citation was issued to appear. You may make your appearance online, by mail, by telephone, and in person. Live Chat and email do not satisfy an appearance. If you fail to make your appearance within the 21 days, you are subject to added fines, fees, and possible warrants for your arrest. Civil citations have 31 days to appear. If you are unsure which type of citation you received, you can contact the Court before the 21 days expires to verify.
Juvenile (16 & Younger):
Article 45.0215, C.C.P., requires the parent, managing conservator, or custodian of a defendant under age 17 to appear in open court with their child. This rule applies regardless of how the defendant wants to handle his or her case. If the defendant wishes to be represented by an attorney, they are still required to be present in court with a parent or legal guardian.
Cases include but not limited to, traffic, curfew, alcohol, tobacco, and assault cases. The juvenile court seeks to divert juvenile offenders from continued criminal behavior while holding juveniles responsible for their conduct.
The parent of the juvenile will receive a notice to appear, and it will contain the date, time, and location of the hearing. We will mail the hearing to the address on the citation. If you fail to appear at the court date, a notification will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend your driver's license or to prohibit you from obtaining one.
During the first appearance setting, prosecutors will meet with the juvenile and the parent or guardian to discuss options for resolving the case. Depending on the specific situation, options may include deferred disposition, community service, or participation in Teen Court. The juvenile also has the option of requesting a trial before a Judge or a jury.
You may call 217-670-4948 to speak to the juvenile clerk, make the request by mail or in-person at the Court.
This request needs to be made at least one (1) day before the day of the pre-trial. A cash bond in the amount of the citation will be required to reset a pre-trial date.
Hiring an Attorney:
If the defendant wishes to be represented by an attorney, they are still required to be present in court with a parent or legal guardian.
If you have hired an attorney to represent your case(s), the Court will communicate all matters through the attorney. Contact the attorney's office for advisement or status of your citation(s).
Make sure you keep in contact with the attorney's office for court dates, payments, or programs that are due.
A request to change something the attorney has set up for you must go through that attorney's office. (Due dates, amounts or programs).
Request to Change Plea or Order from Judge:
You may request a change of program, plea or Judge's order, by mail and in-person at the Court with picture identification. You may not request court changes by phone, email, fax, or live chat. Be prepared to make any payment owed at the time of the request. This request needs to be made at least one (1) day before the court hearing. Be prepared to make any payment owed at the time of the request.
The Court uses the postmark date on the letter (stamped by the postal service) as the received date. Mailing certified is recommended but is not required.
Know Before You Go:
- No payment is allowed on juvenile citations before appearing before the Judge. You may go online to "How Much is My Fine?" (Click Here) to get an idea of the citation amount.
- Juvenile court has a strict dress policy. Anyone dressed in violation of the Court's dress policy will not be allowed in the courtroom. To review the dress policy, (Click Here)
- Spanish interpreters are at the Court for those in need of one. Please contact the Court before the court date if you need an interpreter for a language other than Spanish.
- The juvenile must appear in Court with at least one parent or legal guardian. Relatives, older siblings, or friends are not allowed to appear in the place of the parent or legal guardian.
- Failure to appear at a juvenile court hearing may result in an order being issued to take the juvenile into non-secured custody.
Teen Court Program:
Teen Court is a diversion program for teens by teens that allows juveniles to resolve their cases through a positive learning experience that teaches them about the judicial process.
A group of teen jury members will hear the case and decide punishment, which includes community service and service on the teen court jury. Juveniles can complete their community service at teen court by training in the role of a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, or jury member.
To Be Eligible:
- Enter a plea of guilty or no contest in open court in the presence of a parent, managing conservator, or custodian and request, either in writing or orally, the teen court program;
- Be under the age of 18 or enrolled in a secondary school;
- Charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fine only or a violation of a penal ordinance of a political subdivision, including a traffic offense punishable by fine only;
Not have completed a teen court program in the two years preceding the date that the alleged offense occurred; and
- Payment of an administrative fee and probation is mandatory.
Who Can Volunteer:
Anyone can volunteer! Teenagers between the ages of 13 -16 (Ask about age) can volunteer to serve as a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, or jury member. Licensed attorneys are welcome to volunteer as trainers. All others are welcome to help with the facilitation and coordination of teen court.
Please contact the Juvenile Court Coordinator at 214-670-0109.
When is Teen Court: (Needs to be updated)
Time of Teen Court: (Needs to be updated)
Location of Teen Court: