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Court Procedures

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Appearances

If you receive a citation or are released from jail on a bond, you must make a court appearance either in person or in writing. If you wish to write the court, send to Municipal Court, 110 S. Emerick St., San Angelo, TX 76903.

Received citation: If you were issued a citation other than downtown parking tickets, you must appear within 15 calendar days from the date on your citation either in person or in writing. 

Received bond: If you have been released from jail on a bond, you must appear in person on or before the date and time on your bond. 

Received summons: If you received a summons from the court setting your case for a hearing or trial, you must appear on the date and time set on the summons.

Fines/court costs

Fines: Each fine is determined by the Court. The state sets a minimum and maximum amount of fine. The Court must set the fine within these limits. Court costs: The state sets court costs for each type of violation. These costs could be as little as $8 to as much as $200 per charge. 

Time-payment fee: State law requires the Court to add a $25 fee to each case if you elect to take more than 31 days to pay your fine and court costs.

Warrant fee: State law sets the warrant fee at $50 per warrant.

Jurisdiction

Cases filed in the court are traffic violations, City ordinances, education code, alcohol violations, parking and all other Class “C” misdemeanors that occur within the court's jurisdiction.

Traffic violations include moving and non-moving violations, failure to maintain financial responsibility (no insurance), equipment violations, driver’s license violations, etc.

Parking violations include parking violations under City ordinance or the state's Transportation Code.

Class “C” misdemeanors, violations of state law,  include public intoxication, theft (less than $100), disorderly conduct, minors in possession of alcohol/tobacco, etc.

City ordinances/City codes/environmental violations include juvenile curfew, environmental violations, fire codes, plumbing codes, animal violations, building codes, park and lake violations, etc.

Payment information

The court accepts payments in cash, checks, money orders and credit cards (MasterCard, American Express, Visa, or Discover). There will be a $30 fee for all returned checks.

No checks will be accepted on issuance of bad check charges or charges in warrants:

I want to make an online payment.

Payment by mail: If you are mailing your payment, the payment must be received on or before your due date. Place your date of birth or driver’s license number on the check or money order to ensure correct handling. Print your name and information legibly. Do not send cash through the mail.

Late payments: A warrant for your arrest will be issued if payment is received after the due date. A warrant fee of $50 will be added to each case. If you are more than 31 days past your conviction date, a $25 time-payment fee will be added.

Time-payment: You may request time-payment if you need more than 31 days to pay the fine/court costs in full. A time-payment fee of $25 will be added to each case.

Payment extension: You may request a payment extension if you only need 31 days to pay the fine/court costs in full. No time-payment fee will be added if paid in full within 31 days of conviction.

Payments by mail: All checks/money orders should be made payable and mailed to: Municipal Court, 110 S. Emerick St., San Angelo, TX 76903.

Drop box:

You may pay your fine/court costs at our drop box, which is available 24 hours/seven days a week.  The drop box is on the side of our building at the drive-through for parking citations. Print your name, date of birth or driver’s license number on your check or money order. Do not place cash in the drop box.

The drop box is collected at 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each working day. If you use this method of payment, be sure your payment is in the drop box on or before your due date.

Payment by phone:

You may make your payment by phone using your credit card (MasterCard, American Express, Visa, or Discover). You must call 325-657-4365. The payment will be verified through your card holder. Also, the phone call will be recorded. This is for your protection as well as ours.

Trials/hearings

All trials in the Municipal Court are presided over by a fair and impartial judge. Your first appearance in Court is to enter your plea. If you decide to waive your right to a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may request a hearing with the judge to discuss extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether you want a trial by jury or a trial before the judge. 

Trials: Upon your plea of not guilty, the court will set a pre-trial hearing with the City prosecutor. At this time, the City prosecutor will advise you of your rights. The prosecutor may offer you a plea agreement. You may accept this agreement or refuse the offer and proceed to trial.  Any plea agreement is subject to approval of the Court. If you refuse the plea bargain, a trial date will be given to you at this time.

The following are some of the rights and duties protected and enforced by the Court.

  • The right to hire an attorney to represent you.
  • The right to inspect the complaint before trial and to have it read to you at the trial. You may waive the filing and reading of the complaint.
  • The right to hear all testimony introduced against you.
  • The right to cross-examine any witness that testifies against you.
  • The right to testify in your own behalf.
  • The right not to testify. If you chose not to testify, your refusal cannot be held against you.
  • You may call witnesses to testify in your behalf and have the court issue a subpoena (a court order) to any relevant witness to ensure their appearance at the trial. The request for a subpoena must be made in writing.  If you are convicted, you may be subject to a $5 jury cost fee, officer’s overtime (if off-duty) and a $5 subpoena fee (if any were requested).

If you decide on a trial by jury, you have the right to participate in the jury selection. You may question the prospective jurors about their qualifications to hear your case. Refer to section “Juror Information” below on this page.  If you think a juror will not be fair, impartial or unbiased, you may ask the judge to excuse the juror. The judge will decide whether to grant your request. You are also permitted to strike three members of the jury panel for any reason you choose for any non-discriminatory reason. 

Presenting the case: In criminal trials, the state will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. 

After each prosecution witness has finished testifying, you may ask the witness questions about his/her testimony or any other facts relating to the case. You cannot argue with the witness. Your cross-examination of the witness must be in the form of questions only. You may not tell your version of the incident at this time. You will have an opportunity to do so later in the trial. 

After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your defense. It is not required that a defendant present any defense at trial. You have the right to call any witness. The state has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call with information relevant to your case. 

Once all testimony is concluded, both sides can make a closing statement. This is your opportunity to tell the court or jury why you think that you are not guilty of the offense charged. The state has the right to present the first and last arguments. The closing argument can be based only on the testimony and evidence presented during the trial. 

Judgment/verdict: If the case is tried by a judge, the decision is called a judgment. If a jury tries the case, the jury's decision is called a verdict. The judge or jury can only consider the testimony of witnesses and any evidence properly admitted during the trial.  

If you are found guilty by either judge or jury, the penalty will be announced at that time. You must be prepared to pay the fine and court costs at this time. Refer to section titled “Payment Information” below on this page.

New trial: If you are found guilty, you may make a written motion to the court for a new trial. The judge may grant a new trial if the judge is persuaded that justice has not been done in the trial. The time limit on filing a motion for new trial is 5 days from conviction.

Appeals: If you are found guilty and are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, you have the right to appeal your case. First, you must file with the court a written motion to appeal or advise the court at the time of trial that you wish to appeal. The appeal process is complicated and it is recommended that you follow the steps outlined in “Appeal Procedures” available at the clerk’s office. An appeal bond will be required by the court.

Rescheduling a court date (continuance): If you need  to reschedule your trial, you must make the request in writing, state your reasons for the continuance and submit your request to the court two weeks prior to your trial. Requests made less than two weeks of your court date will not be granted absent special or emergent circumstances. The judge will make a decision whether to grant the request. You may request a continuance for the following reasons: 

  • A religious holy day where the tenets of your religious organization prohibit members from participating in secular activities such as court proceedings. (You must file an affidavit with the court stating this information.) 
  • A witness is unable to testify in your case, after you have executed due diligence to secure the witness’ presence at trial.
  • You feel it is necessary in order to receive a fair trial.
  • Good cause.
  • Any other valid reason not otherwise intended solely to delay the proceedings.

For more information on your rights in Municipal Court, click here.

 

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