Presiding Judge – Carolyn Little
Hours of Open Court
- 3 Days a Week
- Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 9:00am to 5:00pm
- Closed on Wednesdays, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Please allow three (3) working days to process your
citations before appearing in person.
*Cases can not be resolved over the telephone. You have to appear in person or use the US Mail Service. All Juveniles (16 and younger) must appear in person and be with a parent or guardian. This also applies to 17 year old minors with alcohol violations. This is required by law.
Cases that are filed in Municipal Court include (but are not limited to), traffic violations, Class C misdemeanors, and violations of City ordinance.
Traffic violations include moving and nonmoving violations, commercial vehicle violations, failure to maintain financial responsibility, no drivers’ license, etc.
Class C Misdemeanors
Class C misdemeanors (crimes punishable by a maximum fine of $500) include: public intoxication, theft (less than $50), disorderly conduct, minors in possession of alcohol, possession of drug paraphernalia, etc.
Violations of City Ordinance
Includes violations of juvenile curfew, environmental violations, rubbish at a residence, and animal violations),etc.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR JUVENILES:
If you are under 17 years of age you must appear before a judge. When issued a citation by an officer you must bring a parent or guardian with you when you appear on your 12 day “promise to appear” you signed on your citation/ticket. If a complaint is filed against you, you will be notified by mail when to appear with your parent or guardian. When issued a citation/ticket allow the court three (3) working days to process your citation/ticket. Do not mail the fine payment due (found in the fine schedule letter the officers hand out) because you must make an appearance in person.
*NEW LAW -Address Notification – You and your parent or guardian are required by law to provide the Court, in writing, your current address and residence. If your place of residence changes, you have 7 days to notify the Court, in writing, of your new address and residence. Failure to keep the Court informed of your new residence may result in Failure to Appear and Failure to Notify charges filed against both you and your parent or guardian. The obligation of keeping the Court informed of your current address and residence is required until your case is finalized/terminated. This is a new law with serious consequences if not complied with by both the child and parent or guardian..
Make a Plea
After you are issued a traffic citation, you must enter a plea by the twelve (12) day promise to appear, you signed, located at the bottom of your citation. Allow three (3) working days to process your citation before appearing in person. You have three options, you may enter a plea of:
for each violation shown on your ticket. Please Note: Only the person who received the ticket can sign the plea form. You can make your plea either in person or by mail. The judge can not hear any evidence until after your plea is made. If you plea Not Guilty the judge cannot hear your evidence until your trial.
Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the charges filed against you and you are waiving your right to a trial by judge or jury.
When you enter a “No Contest” plea, you must pay the fine specified for the violation. Either bring or mail the fine payment to the Court.
By entering a plea of guilty, you admit that the act is prohibited by law, that you committed the act charged, and you are waiving your right to a trial by judge or jury.
When you plead guilty to a violation, you must pay the fine specified for the violation. Either bring or mail the fine payment to the Court.
A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you are not guilty of the offense in which you were accused. You must plead not guilty by the promise to appear date, twelve days from the date the citation was issued. Upon receipt of your plea, your case will be heard at the next trial date. You will be scheduled for a trial by judge or jury. When entering a plea of Not Guilty please inform the court whether you want a trial by judge or jury. The judge can not hear any evidence you may offer until the trial has started.
What Happens If I Do Not Make a Plea or Ignore My Ticket?
If you fail to make a plea for each violation shown on your ticket, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You may also be entered into the DPS Failure To Appear Program in which you will not be able to renew your drivers license until you have resolved your outstanding issues with the court.
Driver’s Safety Course Requirements
Note: If you have a commercial driver’s license you are not eligible to take Defensive Driving.
You may choose to take a Driver’s Safety Course (DSC) on any one of the moving violations shown on the ticket you were issued. If you were cited for any of the following, you are not eligible to take defensive driving for that violation. Please note that you can only take defensive driving for ticket dismissal once per year.
- 1. Speeding 25 mph or more above the posted speed limit
- 2. No insurance or failure to maintain financial responsibility
- 3. Leaving the scene of a collision
- 4. Passing a School Bus, or Cited while driving in a Construction Zone when worker’s were present.
If you mail your request in, make sure you follow the instructions in the fine schedule letter completely or you may be denied your request.
The DPS Failure to Appear Drivers License Program
If you fail to make a plea or fail to pay your court costs and fines the court may enter you into the Failure To Appear Program. Once you are entered into the FTA database in Austin you will not be able to renew your Drivers License until you have resolved your outstanding issues with the court.
The Court will issue a warrant when:
Note: You will not be arrested if you come to Court to resolve a warrant!
Fines and Payments
Once you have made a plea to each violation you can then pay your fines. When you plead No Contest or Guilty to violations charged against you, you must make full payment for fines owed.
Make Your Payment
You may deliver your payment to the Court in one of two ways.
- 1. Bring your payment in person to the Court location.
- 2. Mail your payment to the Court mailing address:
Ballinger Municipal Court
Also fill out and sign your plea on the fine schedule letter the officer gave you when he issued your citation. Note: Do Not Mail CASH if you chose to mail in your payments!
Cashiers Check or Money Order
Make your cashiers check or money order payable to the Ballinger Municipal Court in the full amount due. Write your drivers license number and date of birth on the cashiers check or money order along with your name. Please indicate if you have an address change.
Partial and Late Payments
If you do not plead on all charges shown on the ticket by the appearance date, you may expect an arrest warrant to be issued and arrest fees and Violation of Promise to Appear fines to be added to the amount due.
Payment received late will be accepted and posted. You will be notified by mail at the address shown on your ticket if additional fines apply.
If you cannot afford to pay, you must go to the court in person to request an extension to pay fines due. You will be required to fill out an application and sign a payment agreement.