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Information about Criminal Cases

Failure to Appear or Pay Fine

If you fail to take care of your citation prior to the appearance date on the ticket or fail to appear in court as required, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. In some circumstances, you may also be charged with an additional offense for failing to appear. The issuance of a warrant carries additional fees, and the punishment for the offense of "failure to appear" is a fine of not more than $500.00.

Denial of Renewal of Driver's License: If you fail to appear in court as required, 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.

If a warrant is issued, you may avoid arrest by::

Posting Bail at the Justice Court:

You may post bail at the Justice Court in which your case is filed. Bail may be in the form of a Surety Bond or a Cash Bond. If you are posting a cash bond, you must tender cash in the form of a cashier's check or money order, payable to the Justice of the Peace, in the amount of the bail.

A magistrate must consider allowing you a personal bond.

When you have posted bail, you will be notified of the date and time you are to appear in court.

Paying the Fine at the Court:

You may pay the acceptable fine either (i) in person at the Justice Court in which your case is filed or (ii) by mailing the fine to the Justice Court. Fines may be paid by cashier's check or money order payable to the Justice of the Peace.

Fines may also be paid in cash or by credit card at the office of the Justice of the Peace.

If you pay the fine, no further court appearance is necessary.

You will remain subject to arrest until you post bail or otherwise dispose of your case.

If you are arrested, you will be required to give bail to secure your release from custody and appear in court at a later time to answer for this charge.

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.