Resolving Your Citation


Resolving Your Citation:

Your citation means that you have been accused of a criminal offense. It is best for you to seek advice from an attorney who can explain your options and warn you about the consequences of the choices you make. Our Court staff cannot give you legal advice or help you decide how you should resolve your case. We offer the following options and explanations as a convenience to you, but we do not suggest that these are your only legal options. Nor do we suggest that any of the listed options are best for you, because only you and your attorney can decide how you should proceed in your case.

Plea Options:

  • "Guilty": A judicial confession that you are guilty as charged.
  • "Nolo contendere" (No Contest): A statement that you do not wish to contest the pending charges. In criminal courts, a "No Contest" plea has the same meaning and effect as a "Guilty" plea. However, pleading "No Contest" is not an admission of guilt for civil purposes.
  • "Not guilty": A denial of the accusation.


If you wish to request a trial, you or your attorney must come to court and enter your plea of "Not Guilty".

You and/or your attorney will have an opportunity to speak to the prosecutor when you appear in Court. You will be scheduled for a "Pre-Trial" hearing to review the evidence in your case.

You must appear for your "Pre-Trial" hearing even if you have an attorney. You do not need to accompany your attorney to "Initial Appearance" or "Attorney Conference" hearings.

If you still wish to have a trial after your "Pre-Trial" hearing, you must choose whether you want a "Bench Trial" before a judge, or a "Jury Trial" before citizens selected from the community.

Pay Fine

If you waive your right to trial, you may plead "Guilty" or "No Contest" and pay a fine.

There is no need to come to Court if you enter your plea and pay your fine before your scheduled court date.

The amount of your fine is determined by the "Fine Schedule".

  • The Court accepts cash, checks, and money orders by mail or in person. Checks and money orders should be made payable to "City of Tomball". Company checks and temporary checks are not accepted.
  • Credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted at the Court Clerk's office. Credit card holders need to appear in person.
  • No payments will be taken over the telephone.
  • You can make an online payments through our online payment option at Municipal Online Services. View and pay court citations online

Payment Plan

If you cannot pay your fine in one lump sum, then you may ask the Court for the opportunity to pay your fine in installments.

You must appear in person to submit your Application for a Payment Plan. You cannot request a payment plan over the phone.

If your application is accepted, then you will be notified of your down payment amount (normally 20%), your start date, and your minimum monthly payment amount.

You will be charged additional financing fees of $25 per violation.

Payments are due no later than the first of the month. Late payments are not accepted.

If you cannot make your scheduled payments, then you should contact the Court to discuss your options. Failure to do so may result in very serious consequences, including additional fees or arrest.

Compliance Dismissals

Depending on your alleged violation, you may be able to get your case dismissed if you comply with certain requirements before your initial court date.

For more information, go to our "Dismissals" page.

Defensive Driving (Driver Safety Course)

If you qualify, you may be entitled to have your case dismissed after taking an approved Driver Safety Course.

For more information, go to our "Driver Safety Course" page.

Deferred Disposition (Probation)

Even if you do not qualify for a Driver Safety Course dismissal, you may still be able to have your case dismissed if you successfully complete a Deferred Disposition probation.

For more information, go to our "Deferred Disposition" page.