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Information about Traffic Cases

Department of Public Safety Driver Responsibility Program

The Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) establishes a system that authorizes the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assess surcharges to an individual based on certain traffic offenses that have occurred on or after September 1, 2003. Individuals are notified by mail each time a surcharge is added to their driver record. Surcharges are in addition to other fees and do not replace a suspension, revocation, denial, disqualification or cancellation resulting from the same conviction.

This program was developed to encourage safe driving habits. It requires DPS to assess surcharges to individuals based on certain traffic offenses.  These surcharges are assessed in two ways, a point system, and conviction based. 

  • Points are assessed for Texas or out-of-state moving violation convictions: two (2) points for a conviction, and three (3) points for a conviction that resulted in a crash.   Individuals are assessed a point surcharge annually if they have six (6) or more points on their driver record. For each consecutive 12 month period that an individual does not receive any points for a moving violation, one (1) point will be deducted from the individual’s total points.
  • A Conviction based surcharge is a result of being convicted of any of the following; Driving While Intoxicated, No Driver License, Driving While License Invalid, and No Insurance. Points are not assessed for these offenses. A conviction based surcharge will be assessed annually for three (3) years from the date of conviction. An individual also has the option to pay all three (3) years at once.  

DPS offers programs that may reduce or waive surcharges. For more information about DRP, along with details on available surcharge discounts and other surcharge assistance programs,  please visit,

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General Information

This information is furnished to you to provide basic information relative to the law governing procedures for traffic 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.

Traffic offenses, generally, are punishable by a fine of not more than $200.00 and all costs of court.

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.