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Information about Criminal Cases

If You Do Not Want to Appear in Court

Pay the Acceptable Fine Online

For most offenses for which a citation has been issued, fines can be paid online by using the Harris County Justice of the Peace Courts' website. Online payments may be made until 11:00 p.m. on the appearance date shown on your ticket. Unless a warrant has been issued ordering your arrest, an online payment may also be made after your appearance date until at least five (5) business days before a scheduled trial date.

Pay the Acceptable Fine in Person or by Mail

If you do not want to appear in court, you have the option of paying your fine by mail or by paying in person at the Justice Court as directed on your citation or summons. Before the time you must appear in court, mail or bring to the court a Plea Form for Criminal Cases together with your payment of the acceptable fine. The acceptable fine amount will include the court costs for the offense with which you are charged.

If you are paying by mail, you must pay by cashier's check or money order, payable to the Harris County Justice Court. If you are paying in person, you may pay your fine in cash, by cashier's check or money order, or by credit card.

Payment of the acceptable fine constitutes a finding of guilt in open court as though you had entered a plea of no contest.

Enter a Plea of Not Guilty by Mail

Before the time you must appear in court, you may mail or bring to the court a plea of not guilty. The court will set your case for a jury trial. If you notify the court that you waive your right to a jury trial, your case will be set for a trial by the court. You may be required to attend a pre-trial conference.

More Information about Criminal Cases >>


General Information

This information is furnished to you to provide basic information relative to the law governing procedures for criminal cases in the Harris County Justice Courts.

The Harris County Justices of the Peace and the Clerks of the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice. You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.

You have the right to a trial by a jury and to be represented by an attorney of your choice, or to represent yourself.

Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.