Municipal Court


Find answers to your municipal court questions!

How do I pay for my ticket? Do you accept checks?
You can make your payment in the form of cash, cashier’s check or money order payable to City of Fairfield or Fairfield Municipal Court (please refer to fine schedule for fine amounts or contact the court and reference your citation number), in person anytime Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the City Hall, 222 S. Mount Street, Fairfield TX, 75840.

You may pay online using MasterCard, Visa, at www.trafficpayment.com or call 1-800-444-1187. You will need your ticket/citation number, driver's license number, date of birth, or Social Security number.

What if I need to make payment arrangements?If you can’t pay for your citation all at once, you can appear personally to set up a payment schedule at the Court's discretion.

How can I keep a ticket off on my driving record?
The City of Fairfield Municipal Court provides two options to keep citations from adversely affecting your driving record with the Texas Department of Public Safety. These options are deferred disposition and defensive driving. Both of these alternatives require a plea of "guilty" or "no contest" and approval from the Court. If you have questions regarding one of these options, or to see if you are eligible, please contact the Municipal Court by telephone at 903-389-2337, or in person at 222 S. Mount.

Can driving safety courses be used to dismiss one or more moving traffic offenses?

  • Driving Safety Course may be used to dismiss ONLY ONE moving traffic offense.
  • You must provide written notice to the Court by appearance date on citation.
  • It must be made in person, by counsel, or by certified mail. (If you are under age 17, you must appear in open court with a parent or guardian to make the request.) If you were operating a motorcycle, you must take a motorcycle operator’s training course. If you are charged with allowing a child to ride unsecured in a seat belt or a child passenger safety seat system, you must take a special driving safety course that has four hours training on child passenger safety seat systems.

At the time of the request, you must do the following:

  • Plead guilty or no contest;
  • Pay court costs; $101.60 ($126.60, if offense committed in a school zone) $10 administrative fee is included
  • Present proof of financial responsibility (insurance); and
  • Present a Texas driver’s license or permit, or present proof of being a member of the United States Military forces serving on active duty;

To be eligible, you:

  • Cannot have taken a driving safety course or motorcycle operator course for a traffic offense within the last 12 months from the date of the current offense;
  • Cannot be currently taking the course for another traffic violation;
  • Cannot be the holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or held a CDL at the time of the offense;
  • Have not committed one of the following offenses:
    • Failure to Give Information at Accident Scene;
    • Leaving Scene of Accident;
    • Passing a School Bus;
    • A serious traffic violation, which applies to commercial motor vehicle operators;
    • An offense in a construction maintenance work zone when workers are present; or
    • Speeding 25 mph or more over limit and not more than 94 MPH.

The case will be deferred for 90 days. During that time you must:

  • Complete a driving safety course approved by the Texas Education Agency or a motorcycle operator’s course approved by the Department of Public Safety and present the completion certificate to the court.
  • Present a certified copy of your driving record from the Department of Public Safety that shows that you have not had a driving safety course within the preceding 12 months from the date of the current offense; and
  • Swear to an affidavit that you were not taking a driving safety course at the time of the request for the current offense and that you have not taken one that is not shown on your driving record.

If you do not present the required documents in time, the court will notify you to return to court and explain why you failed. The judge may, but is not required to, allow you to file the proper papers at that time. Your failure to be present at that hearing will result in a conviction, a fine being assessed, and a warrant for your arrest being issued.

What if I have a warrant out?
Contact the court.

Can someone else appear on my behalf?
No.

How can I plead?
A plea must be made in person or by mail with a copy of your driver’s license or two forms of ID.

  • GUILTY - By a plea of “guilty”, you admit that the act is prohibited by law, that you committed the act charged and that you have no defense or excuse for your act.
  • NOLO CONTENDRE - A plea of “nolo contendere” (or “no contest”) means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you. While it is not an admission by you that you are guilty, you will almost certainly be found guilty. A plea of guilty or no contest, and a finding of guilt, will result in a conviction on your record. However, a plea of “no contest” cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
  • NOT GUILTY - A plea of “not guilty” means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt or that you have a good defense, and that the State must prove what is charged against you.
What are my options for dismissal of certain offenses?
Operating a Motor Vehicle without License Plates or with one License Plate
  • Remedy before 1st court appearance as shown on citation
  • Registration current at time of offense
  • Registration insignia attached to vehicle before first court appearance
    • There will be a $10. dismissal fee

Expired Motor Vehicle Registration

  • Remedy within 20 working days after the offense or before 1st court appearance, whichever is later
  • Late fee to tax assessor / collector is still due
    • There will be a $20. dismissal fee

Display altered, unclean, or obscured License Plate/Registration insignia

  • Remedy before 1st Court appearance
    • There will be a $20. dismissal fee

Failure to Display Driver’s License

  • Defendant presents valid driver’s license
  • Prosecutor makes a motion to dismiss
    • There will be a $10. dismissal fee

Expired Driver’s License

  • Remedy within 20 working days after the offense or before the 1st Court appearance, whichever is later
    • There will be a $20. dismissal fee

Failure to report change of address or name within 30 days

  • Remedy within 20 working days after the date of the offense
    • There will be a $20. dismissal fee

Violate Driver’s License Restriction or Endorsement

  • Remedy before 1st court appearance
  • Endorsement imposed because of a physical condition that was corrected before the offense or was imposed in error;
  • Have Department of Public Safety remove the endorsement before the 1st court appearance
    • There will be a $10. dismissal fee

Operate Vehicle with Defective Required Equipment (or in unsafe condition)

  • Remedy before 1st court appearance
  • Does not apply to CMV
    • There will be a $10. dismissal fee

Expired Motor Vehicle Inspection “Less” than 60 days

  • Remedy within 20 working days after the offense date or before the 1st court appearance, whichever is later
    • There will be a $20. dismissal fee

Expired Inspection More than 60 days

  • Contact the court

What are my rights?
Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The State must prove you guilty of the offense with which you are charged "beyond a reasonable doubt". Every criminal defendant has the right to remain silent and refuse to testify (without consequences). You have the right to retain an attorney and have them try your case or answer your questions. Since offenses in this court are punishable only by fine and not by incarceration, you do not have the right to appointed counsel.

You have the right to a jury trial. You may also waive a jury trial and have a trial before the judge, commonly called a bench trial. At trial you have many rights including:

  • The right to have notice of the complaint not later than the day before any proceedings;
  • The right to inspect the complaint before trial, and have it read to you at the trial;
  • The right to hear all testimony introduced against you;
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you;
  • The right to testify in your own behalf;
  • The right not to testify. Your refusal to do so may not be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt; and
  • You may call witnesses to testify in your behalf at the trial, and have the court issue a subpoena (a court order) to any witnesses to ensure their appearance at the trial.

In addition to your rights, you also have some legal responsibilities. The law requires you to make an appearance on your case. Your appearance date is noted on your citation, bond, summons or release papers. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, or you may deliver your plea in person to the court.

Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you waive a jury trial and plead guilty or no contest you may present extenuating circumstances for the judge to consider when setting your fine. If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a jury trial. You may waive a jury trial and be set for trial before the court. When you make your appearance by mail, the court must receive your plea before your scheduled appearance date. If you plead not guilty, the court will notify you of the date of your trial.

f you plead guilty or no contest, you waive your right to a jury trial. You may request the amount of fine and appeal bond in writing and mail or deliver it to the court before your appearance date. You then have up to 31 days from the time you received a certified notice from the court to pay the fine or file an appeal bond with the municipal court.

What happens at trial?
If you choose to have the case tried before a jury, you have the right to question jurors about their qualifications to hear your case. If you think that a juror will not be fair, impartial or unbiased, you may ask the judge to excuse the juror. You are also permitted to strike three members of the jury panel for any reason you choose, (except a strike based solely upon race or gender). As in all criminal trials, the State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you.

You then have the right to cross-examine. You may not, however, argue with the witness. Cross-examination must be in the form of questions.

After the prosecution, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident. The State has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call.

If you so desire, you may testify in your own behalf, but as a defendant, you may not be compelled to testify. It is your choice, and your silence cannot be used against you. If you do testify, the State has the right to cross-examine you.

After all testimony is concluded, both sides can make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the jury or court why you are not guilty of the offense. The State has the right to present the first and last arguments.

In determining the defendant's guilt or innocence, the judge or jury may consider only the testimony of witnesses and any evidence admitted during the trial.

What if I am a juvenile?
Juveniles must appear in person before the Judge, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Notice of their court date and time will be mailed by the clerk to the address shown on the citation.

What if I cannot make it to my Court date or if I need to reschedule it?
If you need a continuance, you must put the request with your reason in writing and submit it to the court prior to trial. The judge decides whether or not to grant the continuances. Failure to submit the request in writing may cause your request not to be considered.

What if I want time served for my warrant(s)?
You need to contact the court in person for any Time Served requests and you must bring your driver’s license or two forms of ID or you may contact the court at 903-389-2337.

What if I want to talk to the Judge about my ticket?
You may set your ticket for a trial before the judge or jury. The Judge cannot discuss the merits of a pending judicial proceeding prior to actual trial (Canon 6 (c), Code of Judicial Conduct). This means that the Judge is forbidden from discussing your ticket with you before trial, except, as to procedural matters.

If you choose to plead guilty and have extenuating circumstances, then the Judge may discuss them with you.

What if I want to appeal my case?
If you are found guilty, and are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, you have the right to appeal your case. To appeal you must file an appeal bond with the municipal court within 10 days of the judgment. The court must set the appeal bond amount at least twice the amount of the fine and costs.

I was summoned for jury duty, how do I know if I can be exempted?
The following persons, by statue AND NO OTHERS may claim an exemption from jury service if the person wishes to do so:

  • Persons over 70 years of age
  • Persons who have legal custody of a child under and up to an age of 15 years if jury service by that person would necessitate leaving the child without adequate supervision
  • All students of public or private secondary school
  • Every person who is enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education
  • Persons who are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid unable to care for himself, or herself
  • An officer or an employee of the Senate, House of Representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government
  • He or she has served as petit juror in the county during the 24-month period preceding the date he/she is to appear for jury service. (Only applies to counties with population at least 200,000 unless the county uses a jury plan under 62.011, Government Code, and the period authorized under Section 62.011(b)(6) exceeds two years)
  • He or she has served as a petit juror in the county during the three year period preceding the date the person is to appear for jury service. (Only applies to counties with a population of at least 250,000 unless the jury wheel in the county has been reconstituted after the date the person served as a petit juror.)

Excuses for any other reasons should be proposed to the court at the call of jury roll.

All exemption requests should be made in writing at least 48 hours before the trial date. If you feel you should be exempted from jury service, you may submit it in writing to the judge prior to the trial date by fax at 903-389-6327.

What is the dress code for the courtroom?
No hats, caps, bandanas, etc. No tube tops, midriff, short shorts or any revealing clothing. No obscene or profane language or illustrations on clothing. Clothing must cover all undergarments for both men and women.

Violators may be sent home to change clothes. ALL cell phones must be turned off.

We ask everyone to be respectful of others by making prior childcare arrangements for children under the age of ten.

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