Information about Criminal Cases
If you plead guilty or no contest, or if you are found
guilty after trial, you will be assessed a fine as punishment. You will
also be responsible for court costs. Full payment of the fine and costs
will satisfy your obligations in connection with the charge filed against
you. In the event you are convicted and are unable to pay the full amount of any fine or costs assessed, tell the court immediately. The judge can provide you with alternatives to full payment if you are determined to have insufficient resources or income. For more information, consult an attorney or contact the court.
Time to Pay the Fine and Costs
If you are not able to pay the fine and costs in full, the court
may consider allowing you to pay the fine and costs at a later date or
in installments. If you cannot pay the fine
and costs at the time they are assessed, you should be prepared to give the court certain financial information in order to assist the court in making payment arrangements. You will be asked to complete a Financial Statement Form.
Time to Pay and Time Payment Fee
If you must make arrangements for more time to pay your fine and costs, you will need to make that request to the court. You should be aware that the Court is required to impose an additional Time Payment Fee of $15 ($25 if assessed prior to January 1, 2020) if the fine and costs are not paid in full before the expiration of 31 days. This fee is required by Article 102.030 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Failure to Pay the Fine and Costs
Should you default in the payment of the fine and costs or should you be unable to pay all or part of the fine and costs, the court may require you to perform community service work to discharge all or part of the fine and costs. You will be given a minimum of $100 credit for each 8 hours of community service work performed. You may pay the fine and costs remaining due at any time.
Collection Fee: If the fine and costs are more than sixty (60)
days past due, the court may refer your case to a private attorney or
vendor for collection services. A collection fee equal to 30% of the amount
due will be added. This fee is allowed under Article 103.0031 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Issuance of Capias Pro Fine: If you fail to pay the fine and costs
as directed, the court will notify you of a court date to appear to show cause for nonpayment. If you fail to appear at that court setting, or appear and fail to show good cause for why the fine and costs were not paid or satisfied according to the judgment, the court may issue a capias pro fine commanding a peace
officer to bring you before the court or place you in jail until you can
be brought before the court. You will be required to pay additional fees
in connection with the issuance of the capias pro fine and your release.
These fees are required by Article 102.011 of the Texas Code of Criminal
Confinement in Jail to Discharge Fine and Costs: If you intentionally
fail to make a good faith effort to discharge the judgment, you may be
committed to the Harris County Jail until the judgment is discharged by
serving a sufficient length of time to satisfy the fine and costs owed.
Denial of Renewal of Driver's License: If you fail to pay the fine
and costs as directed, the court may notify the Department of Public Safety
to deny the renewal of your driver's license. You will be required to
pay an administrative fee of $10 ($30 if referred prior to January 1, 2020) prior to the renewal of your license.
This fee is required by Section 706.006 of the Texas Transportation Code.
Information about Criminal Cases >>
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.