Traffic Tickets in Texas

Options and Considerations for the Accused

Pleading Guilty or Pleading No Contest

Consequences of Pleading Guilty or No Contest

(As Doing One or the Other Typically Results in the Same Consequences):

  • Responsible for Paying the Fine.
  • Points can be Removed from Driver’s License (the Number Dependent Upon the Offense).
  • Chance of Losing License Due to License Being Suspend or Revoked.
  • Likelihood of Automobile Insurance Rates and Premiums Increasing.

Pleading Not Guilty and Taking Case to Court

Potential Outcomes of Pleading Not Guilty

  • Opportunity to Negotiate for a Favorable Plea Bargain/Lesser Penalty — Possibility Prosecutor Allows Defendant to Take Defensive Driving and/or Driver Safety Course in Exchange for Reduction in Points Deduction or Ticket Dismissal, for Example.
  • Opportunity for Attorney — or Defendant — to Present the Facts of the Case Before a Judge or Jury.
  • An Acquittal, which means No Penalty, but Attorney Fees must be Paid if Applicable as-well-as Court Costs.

OR – If Found Guilty, Defendant

  • Pays Fines and Court Costs.
  • Pays Attorney Fees if Represented.
  • Loss of Points on License.
  • Potential Jail Time.
  • Increase in Insurance Rates and Premiums.

Failure to Pay or Plead (Failure to Appear in Court)

Consequences of Failure to Appear in Court and Plead Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest or to Pay the Fine

  • A Bench warrant will Likely be Issued for Your Arrest.
  • Your Drivers License will Likely be Revoked.

Options for Paying Fine

A Defendant can Pay Their Fine by:

  • Appearing in Court.
  • Paying Online, though Doing So is Not an Option for Minors nor Those Accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Texas Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Carriers and Traffic Tickets

Consequences of a Traffic Ticket for those Carrying a Texas CDL

Must Notify Employer within 30 Days if Ticket is for a Moving Violation regardless or Whether or Not the Vehicle being Driven at Time of Alleged Violation Requires a CDL to Operate. ***Consult the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook for further explanation of requirements.

Paying a Ticket Online

The Texas Courts that Offer Defendants the Opportunity to Pay Their Fines Online are Listed Below.

  • Select the County Court (the Name of the County Always Appears on Your Ticket)
  • Find Your Case Number
  • Pay the Fine Using Your Debit or Credit Card

Paying a Fine in Counties and Municipalities the Do Not Offer Online Payment

  • Read the Back of the Citation. All Tickets Issued in Texas have Fine Payment Instructions Printed on the Back.
  • If You Misplace Your Citation, Read Our Instructions on Paying a Fine When You Have Lost Your Ticket. *** You Must Know the Name of the County Where Your Citation Was Issued to Proceed Because All Moving Violations are Dealt with in Texas on the County Level.

Other Payment Options

  • Pay Through the Physical Mail
  • Pay Over the Telephone

Texas Law Officers that Can Issue Moving Vehicle Citations

Texas State Legislation Allows Highway Patrolmen, Municipal Police Officers, and Sheriffs and Deputies to Issue Moving Vehicle Violations.

The Texas Highway Patrol has an Online Ticket Search and Payment Webpage on the Texas Department of Public Safety Website. By Entering Your Drivers’s License Number, You can Open Your File.

Final Considerations

Every Ticket Issued in the State of Texas States Whether a Defendant Is or Is Not Required to Make a Court Appearance. If a Defendant’s Citations Indicates that They are Required to Make a Court Appearance — Even if They Pay the Fine — They are Required to Appear in Court on the Court Date Indicated on the Citation.

Texas Education Agency Approved Defensive Driving Course

Texas Defensive Driving