IMPORTANT: CAREFULLY READ THE PAGE FOR "I GOT A CITATION! WHAT DO I DO?".
Resolving Your Citation:
Your citation means that you have been accused of a criminal offense. It is best for you to seek advice from an attorney who can explain your options and warn you about all the consequences of the choices you make. Our Court staff cannot give you legal advice or tell you how you should resolve your case. We offer the following options and explanations as a convenience to you, but we do not suggest that these are your only legal options. Nor do we suggest that any of the listed options are best for you because only you and your attorney can decide how you should proceed in your case.
Free Legal Resources
If you cannot hire an attorney, there are free resources to help you conduct your own legal research and print out the legal forms and materials that you may need.
Go to texascourthelp.gov for the above-described information and instructional videos to help you understand the legal process.
- On or before the answer date listed on your citation, you must decide how you want to respond to the accusation(s) against you. There are three choices:
- "Guilty": A judicial confession that you are guilty as charged.
- "Nolo Contendere" (No Contest): A statement that you do not wish to contest the pending charges. In criminal courts, a "No Contest" plea has the same meaning and effect as a "Guilty" plea. However, pleading "No Contest" to your accusation(s) is not an admission of criminal wrongdoing for civil purposes.
- "Not Guilty": A denial of the accusation.
- If you appear for Court but are still unsure how you want to plea, the judge will enter a "Not Guilty" plea for you. You can always change your plea later if you wish.
If you wish to request a trial, you or your attorney must enter your plea of "Not Guilty."
You and/or your attorney will have an opportunity to speak to the prosecutor when you appear in Court. You will be scheduled for a "Pre-Trial" hearing to review all the evidence in your case.
If you still wish to have a trial after your "Pre-Trial" hearing, you must choose whether you want a "Bench Trial" before a judge or a "Jury Trial" before citizens selected from the community.
If you waive your right to trial, you may plead "Guilty" or "No Contest" and pay a fine.
There is no need to come to Court if you enter your plea and pay your fine and court costs before your scheduled court date.
If you plea "guilty" or "no contest", the amount of your fine is determined by the City's Fine Schedule (PDF).
- 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, online, or by phone. Credit card holders must provide a photo ID.
- Payments will be taken over the telephone by calling 855-546-7598.
- You can make ONLINE PAYMENTS through our online payment option at Municipal Online Services. View and pay court citations online
If you cannot pay your fine in one lump sum, you may ask the Court for the opportunity to pay your fine in installments.
To apply for a Payment Plan, you must submit an application and financial statement.
You will be charged an additional financing fee of $15 per violation.
If you have difficulty making your scheduled payments, you must promptly contact the Court to discuss your options. Failure to do so may result in very serious consequences, including additional penalties and arrest.
Depending on your alleged violation, you may be able to get your case dismissed after you comply with certain requirements.
For more information, go to our "Dismissals" page.
Defensive Driving (Driving Safety Course)
If you qualify, you may be entitled to have your case dismissed after taking an approved Driving Safety Course.
For more information, go to our "Driving Safety Course" page.
Deferred Disposition (Probation)
Even if you do not qualify for a Driving Safety Course dismissal, you may still be able to have your case dismissed if you successfully complete a Deferred Disposition "probation."
For more information, go to our "Deferred Disposition" page.
If you are experiencing serious money problems, you may still have several ways to resolve your citation. IMPORTANT: CONTACT THE COURT TO RESOLVE YOUR CITATION EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO MONEY.
If you are unable to come to Court on your scheduled appearance date because of medical issues, contact the Court (preferably before your court date) and talk to our staff. If you can show proof of your special circumstances, you will be given an opportunity to reschedule your court date or appear remotely.