Municipal Court

Jonestown Municipal Court

Due to court staff being exposed to COVID, dockets scheduled for January 11th have been CANCELLED. This docket is rescheduled to February 1st.

As the Judicial Branch of government for the City of Jonestown, this Court and its officers are dedicated to the principles of impartiality, fairness, integrity, separation of powers, and judicial independence, as prescribed by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Judicial Conduct. This Court and its officers are sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Texas, and to uphold the laws of the State of Texas.

These are the principles to which the Court is committed in its role as the Judicial Branch of our local government.

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Your Rights in Municipal Court

This information is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. If you have questions about your best course of action, what plea to enter, your rights, or the consequences of a conviction of the offense with which you are charged, you should contact an attorney. Clerks, judges, and prosecutors cannot give you legal advice.

Your Rights

  • Under the American system of justice, all defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
  • Every criminal defendant has the right to remain silent and refuse to testify without consequences.
  • It is your right to have an interpreter. If you need an interpreter, notify the municipal court prior to your appearance in court.

Your Rights Before Trial

  • You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you.
  • No attorney will be appointed for you.
  • You have the right to a jury trial.
  • You may waive a jury trial and have a trial before the judge.
  • If you elect to represent yourself, no person other than a licensed attorney can assist you during a trial.
  • You have the right to know the evidence the state intends to introduce at your trial.

Your Rights At Trial

  • To have notice of the complaint. (charge)
  • To inspect the complaint before trial and have it read to you.
  • To hear all testimony introduced against you.
  • To cross examine witnesses who testify against you.
  • To testify on your own behalf or refuse without consequences.
  • To subpoena and call witnesses to testify on your behalf.
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Court Appearance/Plea Info

Court Appearance

The law requires that you appear in court on your case. Your appearance date is noted on your citation and you may view your citation information here. An appearance must be made in person or in writing. A phone call does not constitute an appearance. Any written request must be signed by the defendant (manually or electronically by typing your full name) and submitted with photo identification, phone number, email and mailing address. Written requests or correspondence may be submitted by email to court@jonestowntx.gov , in person or by postal mail at PO BOX 5023, Jonestown, TX 78645. Please Note: If you provide your email address to the court, all future correspondence and official notices from the Court will be sent to that email address.

Failure to appear when required to may result in the filing of additional criminal charges, the issuance of an arrest warrants, and the imposition of additional fines and costs.

For most offenses, unless you need to see the Judge, you may enter your appearance before the date and time noted on your citation.

If you have been charged with an alcohol or tobacco offense you must appear in person in open court on your scheduled appearance date.

JUVENILES

Juveniles are required to appear in open court for all proceedings on their cases. All persons 16 years of age or under will be notified by mail of their appearance date as they are required by law to appear in open court with a parent or legal guardian on all charges filed against them.

A child and parent required to appear before the court have an obligation to provide the court in writing, with the current address of the child. The obligation does not end when the child reaches age 17. On or before the seventh day after the date the child or parent changes, his/her residence, the child or parent MUST notify the court of the current address in writing. A violation of this statute (Art. 45.057(h)CCP) may result in arrest and is a Class C Misdemeanor.

PLEA INFORMATION

You should read the following explanations of all three types of pleas and think carefully before making your decision of which plea to enter. For most offenses, unless you need to see the Judge, you may enter your plea before the date and time noted on your citation.

  • Plea of 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 or excuse for your act. A plea of guilty can be used against you later in a civil suit.
  • Plea of Nolo Contendere (no contest) – A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you. In this court, it is equivalent to a plea of guilty. A plea of nolo contendere, however, cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
  • Plea of Not Guilty – A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether you want a trial before a jury or before a judge and whether to hire an attorney to represent you or to represent yourself in court. The case will be set for a settlement conference prior to trial date being scheduled. Settlement conference is an opportunity for you or your attorney to speak with the prosecutor to see if an agreement can be made to both parties’ satisfaction and not have to continue on to trial.

Not Guilty Plea Form - email to: court@jonestowntx.gov

Failure To Appear / Failure To Pay

If you fail to appear in court, or if you fail to pay or satisfy a judgment ordering the payment of a fine and cost in the manner ordered by the court, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, you may be denied renewal of your driver’s license (Transportation Code § 706.003) and/or denied renewal of your vehicle registration as well, and increased court costs on your case as well.

If you are financially unable to pay a fine and/or court cost, there are other options. Please contact the court to learn what the options are.

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Warrants

Violate Promise To Appear After Citation Issued By Peace Officer

If a defendant fails to make an appearance in person, by letter, by fax or electronically before the due date of the citation, then an additional charge of “Violate Promise to Appear” (VPTA) may be filed against the defendant and a warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest. When a defendant signs the citation, the citation becomes a Personal Bond (PR Bond) that allows the officer to release the defendant to appear in court rather than arresting the defendant and taking him or her before the municipal judge without delay. Thus, the defendant is signing a written promise to appear in court to answer the charges brought against him or her. Violating one’s written promise to appear in court is a violation of Section 543.005 of the Texas Transportation Code and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $200 plus all court costs and warrant fees. Please note that court appearances cannot be made by telephone call or voicemail messages.

Failure To Appear In Court

If a defendant is released from custody and intentionally and knowingly fails to appear in accordance with the terms of the release, after having been given notice to appear by the court, then an additional charge of “Failure to Appear” in court (FTA) may be filed against the defendant and a warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest. This is a violation of Texas Penal Code Section 38.10 and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 plus all court costs and warrant fees.

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Alternatives to Handle a Citation

Driver Safety Course: You may be able to have a charge dismissed by taking a driving safety course.

Contact the court for information on requirements before registering to take a driving safety course.

Once you are approved by the municipal court, you will receive further instructions for completing your requirements and your completion date. If you do not complete the driver’s safety course additional fees may be imposed and a conviction entered on your driving record. In addition, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

Driver Safety Course may only be taken for ticket dismissal on moving violations.

The following violations Do NOT Qualify for a Driver Safety Course:

  • Speeding 25 mph or more over the posted limit.
  • Speeding 95 mph or more.
  • Passing a stopped school bus.
  • Moving violation within a posted construction zone while workers are present.
  • Holders of a commercial driver license, regardless of whether or not they are driving a commercial vehicle, are not eligible for driver safety course.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Failure to stop and give information and render aid.
  • Fleeing from police officer.
  • Reckless driving.

Person requesting a driving safety course must:

  • Present a written request or an oral request (in person) before the appearance date on citation. Request via email: court@jonestowntx.gov
  • Plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) and waive his/her right to a jury trial.
  • Pay court cost of $144.00.
  • Present to the court a valid Texas Drivers’ License or permit.
  • Present to the court proof of financial responsibility. (auto insurance id card)
  • Swear by affidavit that you are not currently taking a driving safety course nor have you taken one in the last 12 months to dismiss another citation.

For proper ticket dismissal, you will be required to return two (2) items to the court on or before your due date.

  1. The first requirement is the original “court copy” of your defensive driving certificate of completion. You can find a class here. Click the “Driving Safety” link to find classroom or online providers.
  2. The second requirement is a certified copy (Type 3A) of your Texas Driving Record. You may request your driving record from DPS byaccessing their web site link . Your required document must be received by your scheduled due date. You may return your required documents in person, email to court@jonestowntx.gov, or mail them to: Jonestown Municipal Court, PO Box 5023, Jonestown, TX 78645.

Deferred Disposition

Available to eligible defendants at the discretion of the trial judge.

Deferred Disposition is a process by which a conviction can be avoided. The judge requires the defendant to adhere to certain terms. If a defendant successfully completes the terms, the case shall be dismissed by the Court and shall not be reported as a conviction to Department of Public Safety (DPS). Terms may include, but are not limited to, refraining from committing certain violations during a specified time period, attending a defensive driving class, completing a class specific to the charge or completing a specified number of community service hours. If the defendant does not comply with the terms of deferred disposition orders, an additional fine may be imposed and a conviction entered on their driving record. In addition, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, increasing court costs in your case. Request via email: court@jonestowntx.gov

You are not eligible for deferred disposition if:

  • You hold a commercial driver’s license.
  • You are charged with an offense committed in a construction zone when workers were present.

Payment Options

To view details of your citation and or pay online click here. Full payment of your fines and court costs constitutes a plea of No Contest and a conviction on your driving record. Payments may be made in person at the Municipal Court. You may pay in cash, check, cashier’s check, money order or by credit/debit card with a processing fee. Payments may be made by mail, the payment must be postmarked no later than the date of your appearance date in order not to be delinquent.

Extension of Time to Pay

If you need an extension of time to pay your fine and court cost, you must still enter your initial appearance by the date noted on your citation. With your plea of guilty or no contest you may request an extension of time to pay your fine. Contact the court on or before the appearance date on citation.

To seek an extension request via email: court@jonestowntx.gov

If you receive an extension, the state requires any remaining balance be paid on the 31st day after the judgment has been entered or a $15 pay agreement fee will be added to the balance. Therefore, you have 30 days after your request to pay your fine and court costs. Any balance remaining after the initial 30 days will be assessed the $15 fee and a pay agreement will be processed.

If the defendant does not comply with the payment agreement additional fees may be imposed. In addition, a warrant may be issued for your arrest increasing court costs in your case.

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Compliance Dismissals

Certain offenses that may be dismissed before your court appearance date or in open court: Request via email: court@jonestowntx.gov

Expired Motor Vehicle Registration: Must renew and provide proof to the Court on or before the appearance date

  • Registration receipt of payment must reflect the “Late Penalty” fee to the County Tax Assessor – Collector. Proof of renewed registration must be received on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $20.00 dismissal fee to the court.

No Liability Insurance / Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (FTMFR)

  • Sending a copy of your insurance card or policy is not sufficient for dismissal. Verification must be sent to the Court directly from the insurance carrier (this may be emailed to court@jonestowntx.gov) indicating the liability insurance was in effect on the date, time and vehicle or person alleged in the citation. You may appear in person to provide proof of insurance. Proof of Insurance must be received on or before the appearance date on citation (No Dismissal Fee Required).

Fail to Display Driver’s License

  • Must show proof of valid driver’s license at time of offense on or before appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Expired Driver’s License

  • Must renew and provide proof to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $20.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Fail to Report Change of Address or Name

  • Must remedy and provide proof to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $20.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Operate Vehicle with Defective Equipment or Unsafe Condition

  • Must be remedied and proof provided to the court on or before appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Operate Motor Vehicle without License Plates or with One Plate

  • Must remedy and provide proof to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Violate Driver’s License Restriction or Endorsement

  • Driver’s license endorsement was imposed because of a physical condition that was surgically or otherwise medically corrected before date of offense, DPS removes the endorsement or restriction, and proof provided to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

Display Altered, Unclean, or Obscured License Plates

  • Must be remedied and proof (Photograph of remedied license plate) provided to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

No Registration Insignia

  • Registration for the vehicle must be current during the period offense was committed and Registration insignia was attached to the car before the ticket due date. Proof (Registration Receipt & Photograph of attached Registration insignia) must be provided to the Court on or before the appearance date on citation and pay $10.00 dismissal fee to the court.

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Courtroom Standards

  • No weapons are permitted in the Municipal Court building.
  • No recording devices are permitted in the courtroom.
  • No cell phones may be operated in the courtroom while court is in session.
  • Sit quietly in the courtroom whenever court is in session.
  • Smoking is prohibited by law in all areas of City buildings.
  • Avoid bringing small children to court. If you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.
  • Please wear suitable clothing to court. It is inappropriate to enter the courtroom unless you are wearing at least a T-shirt, pants or skirt and shoes.
  • Hats should be removed before entering the courtroom.
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Jury Duty

Jury duty is an obligation of citizenship, which is essential to the judicial process. It is an opportunity for you to make a meaningful contribution to ensure that justice is provided in our community.

We hope you will find the opportunity to serve to be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Your service as a juror is appreciated.

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E-Court Appearance

The Jonestown Municipal Court offers E-Court appearance upon demonstration of extenuating circumstances. If you seek an E-court appearance contact the court.

  • e-Court Courtrooms are the same as Actual Courtrooms

Click this Link → Zoom Link

  • Check-In 15 minutes ahead of time.
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Court Dockets

Due to court staff being exposed to COVID, dockets scheduled for January 11th have been CANCELLED. This docket is rescheduled to February 1st.

To view upcoming dockets, click the links below:

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Contact Information

Presiding Judge - Stephen Spindler

Associate Judge - Mark Ekrut

  • Mailing address: Municipal Court, 18649 FM 1431, Ste 4A, Jonestown, Texas, 78645

Court Administrator - Robin Smith

Municipal Court Clerk - Sue Ellen Gonzales

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