Municipal Court Judge
Every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Court proceedings are held inside Shallowater City Hall located at:
801 Avenue G
Shallowater, Texas 79363
Shallowater Municipal Court
PO Box 246
Shallowater, Texas 79363
As a response to the COVID-19 (Corona virus) and in an abundance of caution, the Shallowater Municipal Court will be closed to the public until April 30, 2020. You can still make payments through the mail slot in the front door of City Hall. Please contact Marla Henson at (806) 696-4300 if you have any questions regarding citations, payment plans, or court proceedings.
INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR CITATION
Your signature on the citation is not a plea of guilty. It is a promise to appear in court. You must appear in court no later than the date noted on your citation as the date to appear (usually 2 weeks after citation). A phone call or e-mail does not constitute an appearance.
- You have the right to request a trial by judge or jury trial.
- Juveniles 16 and younger must appear in person with a parent or legal guardian.
Payments for fines may be made in cash, check or money order and are accepted by mail or by dropping the payment in the slot in the front door (left side) at the front of the City Hall building.
ENTERING A PLEA
When you receive a citation, you must enter a plea on or before the date noted at the bottom of your citation. Only the person whose name appears on the citation can enter a plea. Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. Please consider each plea carefully before making a decision. If you plead "Guilty" or "Nolo Contendere" in open court, you should be prepared to pay the fine and court costs immediately.
No Contest Plea (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 and court costs specified for the violation.
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 and court costs ordered by the court. 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.
Not Guilty Plea
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. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether you want a trial before a jury or before a judge. You will need to decide whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you. You or your attorney must be present at the trial.
Deferred Disposition is a method of having your citation dismissed after full payment of the fine, court costs, and satisfactory completion of certain terms and conditions within a probationary period. During this probationary period, no additional citations can be received by the defendant. All requirements imposed in the deferral agreement must be satisfied and proof of completion submitted timely to the City of Shallowater Municipal Court.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
If the defendant does not complete the terms of the deferred disposition or gets additional citations, additional fines may be imposed and a conviction reported on his/her driving record.
- You must enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the charge and waiver of a jury trial.
- You must request “Deferred Disposition” on or before your appearance date.
- You must have not had a deferral in Shallowater within one year preceding the offense date on your current citation.
- You must pay the full amount of the citation.
YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR DEFERRED IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY
- You have a Commercial Driver’s License.
- You are charged with a traffic offense committed in a construction zone when workers are present.
DRIVER SAFETY COURSE
You may request to have your violation dismissed by successfully completing a Texas Approved driver's safety course (DSC). You are eligible to take a driver safety course if you have a valid Texas driver's license or permit and you have not taken a driver safety course within the last twelve (12) months immediately preceding the date of the alleged offense and are not currently taking the course for another traffic violation in the State of Texas. DSC may only be taken for moving violations. You must make a timely appearance in Court to pay the court cost and request a driver's safety course.
- Possess a valid Texas driver's license or permit.
- Show proof of financial responsibility or vehicle liability insurance in your name, or as a listed driver.
- Enter a plea of "guilty" or "no contest".
DRIVER SAFETY COURSE IS NOT AN OPTION FOR
- Offenses committed in a construction work maintenance zone when workers are present.
- Holders of a CDL license regardless of vehicle driven.
- Speeding 25 mph or more over the speed limit.
- Speeding over 95 mph.
- Passing a stopped school bus.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Past due citations.
You may request defensive driving in person.
PAYMENT IN FULL
The simplest method of resolving your violation is to pay the fine and court costs. This will result in a conviction on your driving record. To use this option you must enter a plea of guilty or no contest and waive your right to a trial. Payments can be made using cash, check or money order in person, or by mail. Once the violation is paid in full no other action is necessary.