Town of Copper Canyon

 

Municipal Court

Municipal Court

Mailing & Physical Address:
Copper Canyon Town Hall
400 Woodland Drive, Copper Canyon, Texas 75077 [MapQuest]

Points of Contact:
Voice: (940) 241-2677
Fax: (940) 241-2727
E-mail: ahorner@coppercanyontx.com

Municipal Court Schedule:
Second Wednesday of every month at Copper Canyon Town Hall, 1:00 p.m. (Subject to change-Please contact Town Hall 940-241-2677 ext. 1)

Court Appearances
The law requires that you appear in Court on your case on the date shown on the top of your ticket unless you have made prior arrangements with the Court Clerk. By signing the citation, you have promised to appear in court or to take some action by the date indicated. Failure to appear when required may result in additional charges being filed against you and a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Once a court date has been set, you may obtain a continuance only if you request it in writing and submit your request at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled appearance date. If your motion is granted, the Court will schedule a new appearance date and notify you of your new court date. You or your attorney, if you hire one, must make an appearance in person at the court office, enter your plea, and obtain a court date if desired. Juvenile Defendants have separate rules for their appearance.

You may request a trial before a Judge or before a jury. If you do not want a trial, you may waive your right to a trial and enter a plea of either "Guilty" or "No Contest". You will be assigned a court date on the "No Contest" docket where you may explain any extenuating circumstances you want to the Judge to consider when setting your fine. However, the Judge is not required to reduce your fine. You may also inquire into the alternatives to trial such as the Driving Safety Course or Deferred Disposition.

If you want a trial, you should enter a plea of "Not Guilty" and the Court will schedule a date for your trial. You may represent yourself or you may hire an attorney to represent you. For Class C Misdemeanors, you are not entitled to a court-appointed attorney to represent you.

Pleas
Under the U.S. Justice System, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. On a plea of not guilty, a formal trial is held. As in all criminal trials, the State is required to prove the guilt of the defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt" before a defendant can be found guilty by a Judge or jury.

Your decision concerning which plea to enter is important. You should carefully consider each plea before making a decision. If you plead "Guilty" or "No Contest" in open court, you should be prepared to pay the fine and court costs immediately. You may contact the Court Clerk's office regarding how to make the payment.

Plea Of Guilty - By 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. Before entering a plea of guilty, however, you should understand the following:

  1. The State has the burden of proving that you violated the law - you do not have to prove you did not violate the law
  2. You have the right to hear the State's evidence and to require the State to prove you violated the law; and
  3. A plea of guilty may be used against you later in a civil suit filed against you.

Pleas of Nolo Contendere or "No Contest" - A plea of No Contest means that you do not contest the State's charge against you. The Court has the authority and will likely find you guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court ordered probation (deferred disposition). Also, a plea of No Contest cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit.

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 "beyond a reasonable doubt". If you plead not guilty, you have the right to a trial either by a Judge (known as a "bench" trial) or by a jury. You must also decide whether to hire a lawyer. You have the right to have a lawyer represent you in Court. However, you must pay for your own lawyer because the Court is not required to provide one for you, even if you are indigent. You also have the right to represent yourself. However, if you represent yourself, you must do so without any assistance from the Court.

Payment In Full
If you wish to pay your fine in full, simply write "guilty" or "no contest" on the back of your citation, sign your name on the line provided and send a check or money for the amount of the fine, set by the Judge, to the address below.

The most common fines are shown below:

  
Expired Registration$187.00 *
Disregard No Passing Zone$222.00
Disregard Stop Sign$222.00
Fail to Maintain Financial Responsibility$372.00
Following Too Close$222.00
Name/Address Change Not Made$187.00
Speeding: 1-10 MPH Over Limit$222.00
Speeding: 11-15 MPH Over Limit$237.00
Speeding: 16-20 MPH Over Limit$257.00
Speeding: 21-25 MPH Over Limit$267.00
Speeding: 26-30 MPH Over Limit$287.00
Speeding: 31-35 MPH Over Limit$297.00
Speeding: 36-40 MPH Over Limit$300.00

* If you have been ticketed for Expired Inspection or Registration, or no change of address, and have the matter corrected within 20 business days, your ticket can be dismissed for a fee of $20.

Payment in full can be made in person or by mail. You may contact the Court Clerk's office for the amount of the fine if your offense is not listed here by calling (940) 241-2677, Ext. 1 Monday through Friday, during business hours of 8:30-4:00pm. The address is:

Copper Canyon Municipal Court
400 Woodland Drive
Copper Canyon, Texas 75077

Be aware that the payment of a fine without completing driver's safety course or deferred disposition results in the waiver of your right to a jury trial, a finding of "guilty" and the entry of a conviction.

Payment Plan
If you are unable to pay your fine in full and wish to pay in multiple payments over time, you must request to do so in person at the office of the Court Clerk. As required by state law, an additional administrative fee of $25.00 will be added to the amount of the fine for setting up a time-payment plan if final payment is not made within 30 days. To qualify for a payment plan, you must:

  1. Enter a plea of guilty or no contest or be found guilty after a trial;
  2. Furnish information regarding your financial circumstances at the time you make your request for a payment plan;
  3. Pay an initial minimum payment of $100.00 to cover court costs and administrative fees and thereafter pay a minimum of $50.00 per month until the total amount is paid in full, unless your financial circumstances indicate otherwise; and
  4. Appear in Court at a specific date and time if you fail to pay on time and in the amounts ordered.

It will be your responsibility to keep track of and maintain a record of your payments. Failure to pay on time and/or to appear in Court when ordered may result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. The payment plan option does not in any way release you from the responsibility of the paying the entire fine and costs due.

Please note that if you request and are granted a payment plan to pay your fine(s), you are waiving your right to a trial, and the options of Deferred Disposition and Driving Safety Course are not available to you.

Deferred Disposition
Deferred Disposition is the process by which the Judge defers the imposition of a conviction and grants probation requiring the defendant to adhere to certain terms. If a defendant successfully completes the terms of probation, the Judge is required to dismiss the case.

You may request Deferred Disposition prior to the trial of your case. You must enter a plea of guilty or no contest, pay a special expense fee currently set at $50.00 in addition to your fine, commit no other offense of any kind during the probation period and comply with any other terms and/or conditions of probation. Successful completion of Deferred Disposition will result in dismissal of the case. The special fee and your fine will be due at the time the request is made.

You are eligible for Deferred Disposition if you have not been granted Deferred Disposition in Copper Canyon within the last 12 months.

Driving Safety Course
If you are charged with a moving violation under Subtitle C of the Texas Transportation Code, you may be eligible to have your case dismissed by taking a driving safety course.

YOU MUST FIRST GET PERMISSION FROM THE COURT TO TAKE THE DRIVING SAFETY COURSE. PERMISSION IS AUTOMATIC IF YOU HAVE NOT TAKEN THE COURSE WITHIN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS, YOUR SPEED WAS NOT IN EXCESS OF 25 MPH OVER THE LIMIT, AND YOU MEET THE OTHER LIMITATIONS BELOW.

You must make a request, either oral or written, to take the course at or before the time you are required to appear in Court. If you were operating a motorcycle and request to take a driving safety course, you must take a motorcycle operator's training course. At the time of request, you must

  1. Present proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance)
  2. Present a valid Texas Driver's License
  3. Plead guilty or No Contest (Nolo Contendere);
  4. Pay the court costs and an administration fee, ($109); and
  5. Sign an affidavit swearing that you qualify.

Prosecution of the traffic offense will be postponed to allow you ninety (90) days to complete the course. You must complete a driving safety course that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency or a motorcycle operator's course approved by the Department of Public Safety. There are a variety of ways to complete a driving safety course, including on-line course, and/or traditional classroom instruction.

You qualify for the driving safety course to have the ticket dismissed under this program if you:

  1. Have not completed a driving safety course for a traffic violation within the 12 months preceding the date of your citation;
  2. Are not currently taking the course for another traffic violation;
  3. Have not committed the offense of speeding 25 mph or more over the speed limit; and
  4. Have not committed one of the following offenses:
    1. Leaving the Scene of an Accident;
    2. Fleeing or Attempting To Elude A Police Officer;
    3. Reckless Driving;
    4. Passing a School Bus; or
    5. A serious traffic violation as defined under Chapter 522 of the Texas Transportation Code, which applies to drivers with commercial driver's licenses.

If you are granted the right to take the driving safety course, you must complete the course within 90 days and present to the Court a copy of your driving record issued by the Texas Education Agency or the Texas Department of Public Safety and a certificate of course completion.

If you successfully complete the course within the prescribed time, the case will be dismissed and the offense will not be reported as a conviction on your driving record. If you fail to take and/or complete the course, you will receive a default fine of $200 and the Court will send a notice requiring you to return to court to explain why you failed to show proof of completion. If you have a good reason why you were unable to present your proof within the time period specified, the Judge may, but is not required to, grant you an extension of time to present proof. Your failure to be present at that hearing will result in a judgment being rendered against you and a conviction being reported on your driving record. If the fine is not paid, it may ultimately result in a warrant for your arrest.