"I got a citation! What do I do?"

Your Citation

  • When you signed your citation, you promised to appear before the Tomball Municipal Court no later than the answer date and time listed on the citation. The answer date is your deadline to contact the Court and enter a plea in writing. If you come by or call us at 281-257-7894, you may be able to resolve your citation without having to appear in person for an official court hearing. Go to our "Resolving Your Citation" page for information. 
  • Don't delay! Contact us to resolve your citation. Fines and fees may increase after your answer date.
  • You have a right to contest the charges against you. You have a right to see the evidence against you. You have a right to plea "Not Guilty" and have a trial before a judge or jury.
  • If you hire an attorney, your attorney may come to Court for you and appear in your place.
  • If you are unable to hire an attorney, there are FREE LEGAL RESOURCES available to help you decide how to handle your case. Go to texascourthelp.gov.
  • If you neglect your citation and miss your answer date, there may be serious consequences. A new charge may be filed against you for failing to appear. A warrant may be issued for your arrest. You may have to pay additional fines and fees. Your case may be assigned to a private collection agency. You may be denied renewal of your driver's license. If you accidently neglected your citation, call us right away to avoid escalating penalties.
  • It may take up to 2 business days for your citation to be processed and entered into the Court Clerk's system. Please allow two business days after you receive the citation before contacting the Court.
  • To look up your citation online, go to View and pay court citations online. Allow two days for your citation to get entered into the system.


  • You may reschedule your court date one time for any reason.
  • However, you may lose your opportunity for Driver Safety Course (DSC) dismissal if you fail to submit your request for DSC dismissal and enter a plea on or before the answer date listed on your citation.
  • If you reschedule your court date, you may lose your opportunity for a compliance dismissal.
  • Requests for continuance must be made before the scheduled court date. You must sign a "Reset Form" for your new court date.
  • If you wish to reschedule your court date more than once for any reason, you must file a written "Motion for Continuance" at the Court Clerk's office on or before the scheduled court date. Depending on your circumstances, the Judge may or may not allow additional continuances.
  • Trial date Motions for Continuance must be filed with the Court Clerk at least ten days prior to the scheduled trial date.


  • If you are under 17 years of age, you must appear in Court with a parent or guardian.
  • If you are a juvenile, you may not pay your fine or enter a plea without first appearing in Court.

Minors Charged with Alcohol Violations

  • If you are under the age of 21 years and you are charged with an offense arising under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, you must appear in Court.
  • If you are a minor charged with an alcohol-related offense, you may not pay your fine or enter a plea without first appearing in Court.

Family Violence Allegations

  • If you are charged with family violence, you must appear in person at a court hearing.
  • If you have a family violence charge, you may not pay your fine or enter a plea without first appearing in court.

Paying the Scheduled Fine

  • You may quickly and easily resolve your citation by voluntarily paying a reduced fine and court costs as specified in our schedule of acceptable fines. 
  • Go to our "Fine Schedule" page to determine the amount of your scheduled fine. You may also use the ONLINE PAYMENT link to see your scheduled fine and court cost amounts. Wait two business days after you receive your citation to allow time for us to enter your citation into the system. You may also call us at 281-351-7894 and we will assist you.
  • Upon payment of the scheduled fine and court costs, your case will be closed with a conviction.
  • All convictions for moving violations are reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety Records Division.
  • The Court accepts personal checks and money orders by mail or in person. Checks and money orders should be made payable to "City of Tomball". Company checks and temporary checks are not acceptable.
  • Credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in person at the Court Clerk's office, online, or by phone. Credit card holders need to present a photo ID.
  • You can make an ONLINE PAYMENT through our online payment option at Municipal Online Services. View and pay court citations online.

"What if I deny the allegations?"

  • Come by or call 281-351-7894 and request a "Pre-Trial" hearing so you can meet with a prosecutor, review the evidence, and decide whether you want a "Bench Trial" before a judge or a jury trial.

"Can I avoid a conviction without going to trial?"

  • Maybe. It depends. Study our web page "Resolving Your Citation."
  • If you have questions about your other options, call us at 281-351-7894 during business hours and our staff will help you determine whether you are eligible for Driver Safety Course (DSC) dismissal, Deferred Disposition dismissal, or Compliance dismissal.  

Appearing in Court

  • Don't be late!
  • Wear suitable clothing: no shorts, tank tops, or halter tops. Clothing with offensive, vulgar, obscene, or racist slogans or depictions will not be allowed. Clothing that is too tight or too short will not be allowed.
  • Weapons are not permitted anywhere in the Municipal Court building. 
  • Sit quietly in the courtroom whenever Court is in session. 
  • When addressing the Judge, stand a few feet back from the bench. Do not lean on the bench. 
  • Food, drinks, and chewing gum are not allowed in the courtroom.
  • Tobacco is prohibited in all areas of city buildings.
  • All shirts should be tucked in.
  • Hats and caps should be removed before entering the courtroom.
  • Pagers and cell phones must be silenced before entering the courtroom.
  • No recording, streaming, or photography will be allowed in the courtroom.