IMPORTANT: CAREFULLY READ THE PAGE FOR "I GOT A CITATION! WHAT DO I DO?".
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.
Free Legal Resources
If you are unable to hire an attorney, there are free legal resources to help you find good legal advice, do legal research, and print out forms and other materials that you may need.
Go to texascourthelp.gov for the above-mentioned information as well as instructional videos to help you understand the legal process.
- You must decide how you want to respond to the accusation(s) against you. There are three choices:
- "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" to your accusation(s) is not an admission of criminal wrongdoing for civil purposes.
- "Not Guilty": A denial of the accusation.
- If you appear for Court but you are still not sure how you want to plea, the judge will enter a "Not Guilty" plea for you. You can always change your plea later if you wish.
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 all 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.
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". See our web page "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 acceptable.
- Credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) are accepted at the Court Clerk's office. Credit card holders need to appear in person with photo ID
- No payments will be taken over the telephone.
- You can make ONLINE PAYMENTS through our online payment option at Municipal Online Services. View and pay court citations online
If you cannot pay your fine in one lump sum, 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 for a Payment Plan 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 penalties and arrest.
Depending on your alleged violation, you may be able to get your case dismissed after you comply with certain requirements.
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.
Financial and Medical Hardship
If you are experiencing serious money or health problems, you may still have several ways to resolve your citation. IMPORTANT: COME TO COURT EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO MONEY.
If you are unable to get to Court on your Court date due to financial or medical problems, contact the Court (preferably before your scheduled appearance date) and talk to our staff. If you present proof that you have a valid reason for missing Court, you will be given a new appearance date. We will work with you as long as you stay in contact with the Court and do your best to resolve your citations.
DON'T IGNORE YOUR COURT DATES! If you fail to appear in Court, your citation(s) will become more difficult to resolve. Please call us as soon as you know that you may have a problem complying with your Court orders or appearance dates.