Resolving Traffic Citations

There are three main steps to resolving your traffic violation, STEP 1: Selecting your option of how to take care of the violation, STEP 2: making your plea, and STEP 3: paying any fines/court costs associated with the violation. All three of these steps can be taken care of online, by mail/email, or in person at The Municipal Court. If you are selecting your option of a DSC or Deferred Disposition by mail/email, you must submit a letter to the Judge requesting which option you would like. The correspondence will be reviewed and paperwork will be sent to you with further instructions. Below the steps are explained:

 

STEP 1: Select Your Option to Take Care of Your Citation

There are three ways to take care of your citation:

1. Driver Safety Course (DSC)

This option is available for traffic offenses that are classified as “moving violations.” After paying the DSC fee and court costs, you would be allowed 90 days in which to complete the terms of the DSC agreement. If you are interested in this option please click the DSC title above for further instructions on how to complete a DSC.

2. Deferred Disposition

Deferred disposition is a very simple form of probation. The judge will determine if you are eligible for a deferred disposition once you request it and after you pay your deferred fee and court costs. The deferral period can last between 30 – 180 days, depending on the offense. If you are interested in this option please click the Deferred Disposition title above for further instructions on how to request a Deferred Disposition.

3. Paying the Violation (this will stay on your record as a conviction)

The simplest method of resolving your violation is to pay the fine and court costs. To use this option you must enter a plea of guilty or no contest and waive your right to a trial. Payment can be made online, in person, or by mail. Once the violation is paid in full no other action is necessary

 

STEP 2: Make a Plea

When you get a citation, you must enter a plea. You must make your plea on or before 12 straight days from the date shown on the citation. If completing STEPS 1 – 3 online, after completing STEP 1, you will be prompted to make a plea on each violation by checking the box on the agreement page. Remember only the person who received the citation can sign the plea form.

Definition of plea choices:

  • No Contest (Nolo Contendere)
    • A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the charges against you. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in the event of a subsequent civil suit for damages (i.e., traffic accident for which you are subsequently sued). 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.
  • Guilty
    • By entering 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. When you plead guilty to a violation, you must pay the fine ordered by the court. You can pay the fine
    • Before entering your plea of guilty, however, you should understand the following:
      • The State has the burden of proving you violated the law
      • You have the right to hear the State’s evidence and require the State to prove you violated the law
      • A plea of guilty may be used against you in a civil suit if there was a traffic accident.
      • You have a right to have an attorney.
  • 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 for your case. When you enter a plea of Not Guilty to a charge, you will receive a date to appear in court.

 

STEP 3: Paying the Fines and/or Court Costs

If you are completing STEPS 1 – 3 online, after completing STEPS 1 & 2, you will then be prompted to pay your fines/court costs. When you plead No Contest or Guilty to violations charged against you, you must make full payment or request time to pay. See the Payment Extension section below.

You can review fines/court costs for city violations here. If you are not sure of the violation charged or the fine due, please come to the Court or contact the Court’s information line at (806) 378-3072. Please wait at least 3 days after the date on the citation before calling the Court. This will allow us to receive the citation and input it into our system.

There are four ways to pay your total amount due:

  1. Pay after completing STEPS 1 & 2 online
  2. Bring your payment in person to the Court located at 201 S.E. 4th Avenue (corner of 4th Avenue and Taylor).
  3. Place your payment in the drop-box located in front of the double doors of the Court’s building. The drop box is secure and accessible 24 hours per day 365 days a year.
  4. Mail your payment to the Court at P.O. Box 1366, Amarillo TX 79105-1366.
  • Please include full name and date of birth and/or citation number when you put it in the drop box or mail.

Payments can be made by cash, check (except cases on warrants), money order, or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard). Make your check or money order payable to the City of Amarillo Municipal Court. Write your citation number on the memo line of the check.

 

Partial and Late Payments:

  • If you do not plead on all charges/violations shown on the citation by the appearance date, late fees will be added.
  • Failure to appear could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and will require, upon your conviction, additional fees to be charged for the issue of a warrant.
  • Payments received will be accepted and posted.
  • Partial paid warrants will not be accepted.
  • You will be notified by mail at the address shown on your citation if additional fines apply.
    • Please verify your address is correct on the citation. If your address is incorrect please notify the Court.

 

Payment Extension:

  • If you need an extension of time to pay your fine, longer than 30 days, come to one of our walk-in court sessions and see the Judge or send a request in writing via mail/email.
  • If you would like to see the Judge come to one of our cashier’s windows and check in 20 – 30 minutes before the court time. Walk-In court times are:
    • 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday
    • 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays.

 

What Happens If I Do Not Make a Plea or Ignore My Citation?

If you fail to make a plea for each violation shown on your citation, a warrant could be issued for your arrest. For more information on warrants and how to resolve them, click here.

 

Parking Citations

You must pay your parking citation within 12 days of the violation date shown on the ticket. When you mail your ticket to the Court the postmark date on the envelope is used to determine whether your payment was made on time or is delinquent.

Vehicles with six or more outstanding parking citations are subject to being impounded and towed at the owner’s expense. The vehicle does not have to be in violation at the time that it is seized. To get an impounded vehicle released, you must come to the Court and pay all fees due and pay the towing company a towing fee.