Court Appearance Requirements
The law requires that you appear in court for your case. A phone call is not an appearance. If you were issued a citation, you must appear on or before your appearance date.
Where to Find Appearance Information
Court appearance details are listed on the following:
- The amount of time you have to appear or pay fines is printed on your citation.
- If you have been released on bond, your appearance date is set on the bond.
- If a complainant filed your case, you will be notified by mail of your court appearance.
Entering a Plea
A formal trial is held for a plea of not guilty. As in all criminal trails, the state is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. You should read the following explanations of the three types of pleas and think carefully before making your decision. If you plead guilty or nolo contendere in open court, you should be prepared to pay the fine.
Plea of Guilty
By a plea of guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act. You should understand that a plea of guilty may be used against you in a civil suit.
Plea of Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of no contest means that you do not contest the charge against you. You will almost certainly be found guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and / or a court-approved probation. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means that you deny guilt or that you have a defense in your case and the state must prove what it has charged against you. You will need to decide if you will hire an attorney to represent you. You are not required to hire an attorney to represent you. You may represent yourself. If you decide to represent yourself, view the Trials page for useful information.
About Municipal Court Trials
Trials conducted in the Duncanville Municipal Court are in accordance with the due process requirements of the United States Constitution, Texas Constitution, and Code of Criminal Procedure. Defendants may be represented by an attorney or may act pro se, which is a Latin term meaning that the defendant represents his / herself at trial.
Article 1.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states that a defendant cannot be brought to trial until being formally charged with the offense in a complaint. The complaint is a sworn document that alleges the offense you are alleged to have committed and that your conduct was unlawful. Only the offenses alleged in the complaint may be brought to trial.
Types of Trials