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Texas Traffic Court

Have you been caught speeding? If so, you have a choice to make.  You can either pay the fine or you can go to court for the ticket.  If you do decide to go to Texas traffic court, you may discover that you need a little bit of help untangling the sometimes tangled threads that compose the Texas judicial system. You're not alone-Texas is known for having one of the most complicated court systems in the nation. Here is a brief look at the types of courts that handle traffic tickets in Texas.


Justice of the Peace or Municipal Court?

Every county in Texas has a Justice of the Peace court, called a JP for short. Larger counties usually have several. Texas has a total of 826 Justice of the Peace Courts. Cities can also have their own courts, called municipal courts. Approximately 908 cities and towns across the state have their own municipal courts. Both JP's and municipal courts can be Texas traffic courts, as they are both responsible for dealing with Class "C" misdemeanors like traffic tickets. How do you know where to go for your court date? First, think about where you got stopped. If it was in the middle of nowhere, and not in a city or town with a municipal court, you’ll go before a JP. In cities that have municipal courts, the cases are generally divided up based on who issued the ticket. If it was a local police officer, your ticket will go to municipal court. If it was a deputy sheriff or a state trooper, the Justice of the Peace will take it. However, to avoid any potential mishaps on the day of your Texas traffic court date, check the back of your ticket to be sure you know where to appear!

If you decide to appeal the verdict of your Texas traffic ticket, your appeal will be heard in a county court at law. The county courts are responsible for hearing appeals to verdicts issued by municipal courts and JP’s. Depending on whether or not the lower court is officially a "court of record," the county court may even have to hold an entirely new trial.

Duties of the Court

Both JP's and municipal courts have similar duties when it comes to hearing traffic cases. By law, they are supposed to provide a chance for each citizen to have his or her case heard in a fair and timely manner. The court is responsible for assigning a judge to hear your case, accept your plea and issue a ruling. The judges also may dismiss charges if they feel they are not valid or if certain conditions are met, such attending traffic school for a traffic violation.  Texas traffic courts are also responsible for setting fines in cases where the fine has not already been set by law. This is why fines for speeding and other traffic violations can vary so much from place to place in Texas-each local municipal or JP court is able to set their own fines for these violations. Texas traffic courts are also responsible for collecting all fines for the judgments they assess. Finally, Texas traffic courts are responsible for keeping records of all the cases that they hear and for reporting any moving violation convictions to the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

Services Provided

Other than their main duty of handling traffic cases, Texas traffic courts also provide several other relevant services. They can set up payment plans for people who are not able to pay their fines all at once. They can also provide a list of state-approved defensive driving courses, such as Driving University. Also, the court may offer web-based services depending on the municipality. For example, some courts offer ability to look up fine amounts and pay fines online.

If you end up having to go to a Texas traffic court, don’t forget that you can dismiss one ticket per year by taking a defensive driving class. You’ll have to bring a certified copy of your driving record to court, and advise the judge that you want to take the defensive driving course. If the judge agrees, you can take the Driving University course online. Driving University’s online course is state-approved for ticket dismissal and insurance discounts, and you can take it at home on your computer. Remember, we can help you get your traffic ticket dismissed easily and conveniently.

Traffic Court Listings By City

Cities A-C

Cities D-F

Cities G-I

Cities J-L

Cities M-O

Cities P-R

Cities S-U

Cities V-Z

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