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.
Minors - Alcohol (17-20):
The Alcoholic Beverage Code provides specific procedures for handling minors charged with alcohol offenses. All minors must appear in open court to enter their pleas. Sec. 106.10, A.B.C.
The following is a list of A.B.C. offenses with which persons under the age of 21 may be charged and must appear before the Judge:
- Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor;
- Attempt to Purchase Alcohol by a Minor;
- Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor;
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor (DUI);
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor;
- Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor;
- Public Intoxication.
Minors - Tobacco (17-20):
An individual commits an offense if the individual is younger than 21 years of age. The Court must summon a parent, managing conservator, or custodian to appear in court to be present during all proceedings involving his or her child. Art. 45.0215, C.C.P.
An individual under the age of 21 commits an offense if he or she:
- Accepts a cigarette, e-cigarette, or tobacco product;
- Individual falsely represents himself or herself as being 21 years of age or older to obtain possession of, purchase of, or receive a cigarette, e-cigarette, or tobacco product.
The Municipal Court schedules these court dates. The parent of the minor 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.
You may request a pre-trial reset in-person at the Court. You may not request a reset by phone, email, fax, or live chat.
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 minor-alcohol or minor-tobacco 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.
- Minor 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 minor 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 minor court hearing may result in additional fines, fees, and possible warrants for your arrest.