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The Lake Dallas Municipal Court is located in the Municipal Complex at 212 Main Street.
The Municipal Court's responsibilities include processing all citations that are issued for Class C violations of state law, as well as city ordinance and traffic violations, holding bench and jury trials, issuing warrants, collecting fines, and reporting on a monthly basis to the State of Texas and Lake Dallas City Council.
PLEASE WAIT TWO BUSINESS DAYS FROM THE DAY YOU RECEIVE YOUR CITATION BEFORE INQUIRING ABOUT YOUR CITATION. IF MUNICIPAL COURT HAS NOT RECEIVED YOUR CITATION, WE CANNOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OR PROCESS ANY TRANSACTIONS.
Have you received a citation?
Check the citation to see when you are scheduled to appear in court. Court is held on pre-scheduled Mondays at 9:00 a.m. Please click here to view a tentative list of upcoming court dates. You may appear at the Municipal Court Clerk's office before your scheduled court date to enter a plea of "No Contest" or "Guilty." A "Not Guilty" plea requires an appearance at your scheduled court time. If you wait and appear the morning of your court date, you WILL be required to sign in to see the judge. The sign-in sheet goes out at 8:30 a.m. court morning and court starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. If you arrive after 9:00 a.m., you will be required to wait until the first session ends and will not be permitted to interrupt court proceedings. The office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
There are three ways in which you may plea:
- Not Guilty - you contest the charge(s) in your case and the State must prove the charges against you. With this plea, you are required to appear in open court on your court date and you will be given the opportunity to request either a bench trial or a jury trial. Your case will then be reset to the nearest available trial date.
- No Contest - you do not contest the State's charge(s) against you.
- Guilty - you admit you committed the charge(s) for which you are accused and wish to pay the fine(s) and court costs assessed.
Driver Responsibility Program A conviction of an offense under a traffic law of this State or a political subdivision of this State may result in the assessment on your driver's license of a surcharge under the Driver Responsibility Program.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR JUVENILES: Juveniles (under age 17 at the time of the alleged offense) must have a parent or guardian present with them at all court appearances. It is at this time that you make your plea before the judge and to make your request as to how you wish to handle the citation.
Do not mail the fine payment due.
A juvenile and their parent / guardian are required by law to provide the Court, in writing, current address and residence. If the juvenile's place of residence changes, you have 7 days to notify the Court in writing of the new address. Failure to keep the Court informed of a new residence may result in Failure to Appear and Failure to Notify charges filed against both juvenile and their parent / guardian. The obligation of keeping the Court informed of a current address and residence is required until the case in finalized even if the juvenile turns 17.
Lake Dallas Municipal Court does not accept checks.
The City of Lake Dallas Municipal Court currently accepts cash, money order, Visa or MasterCard. Using a credit card adds an additional 3% fee for processing.
You may deliver your payment to the Court in one of the following ways:
- Online Payment - using the Municipal Court Online Payment System
- Bring your payment in person to the Court's office
- Drop your payment in the "After Hours Drop" located inside the Court building.
- Mail your payment along with your plea to the Court:
212 Main Street
Lake Dallas, TX 75065
Please note that if your payment is made either in the after hours drop or in the mail, you must include either your citation or the citation number with the payment. Receipts are made the next business day and placed into your file. If you prefer your receipt be mailed to you, you must enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope and the Court will mail it the next business day.
If you are making your payment online, you must contact the court during business hours to verify that your citation has been paid in full. Until you get verbal confirmation that your citation has been paid in full, your citation may still be in active status.
If you cannot afford to pay the entire fine, payment arrangements might be available with the Court. You must appear on or before your scheduled court date on the bottom of your citation to request a payment plan from the Court. Please be prepared to make an initial payment at the time of the request.
Further questions should be directed to the Court: 940.497.2227 Ext. 119.
Driver's Safety Course (DSC)
You may elect to take the Driver's Safety Course (DSC) on any one moving violation you were cited for if you are eligible.
You are not eligible to take DSC if any of the following statements are true:
- You have a commercial driver's license
- You have completed DSC for traffic citation dismissal within the 12 months preceding your citation date
- The charge is speeding 25 mph or more above the posted speed limit
- The charge is no insurance/ failure to maintain financial responsibility
- The charge is leaving the scene of a collision
- The charge is passing a school bus
- You were cited while driving in a Construction Zone when workers were present
- Your charge is not a moving violation
You may request DSC in person or by mail. The person issued the citation is the only one that may request DSC.
You must submit the following on or before your appearance date on your citation:
- Completed Request for DSC Form, with a notarized signature. (if applying in person, we will supply the form and a notary is not required.) (For instructions on DSC being requested through the mail, click here)
- Photocopy of your Texas Driver's License and insurance card, listing you as a covered driver
- Money Order in the amount of $139 for violations in a school zone or $114 for all other violations
If all of the above criteria are met, your permission to take DSC may be automatically granted. You will have 90 days from your court date to complete DSC and furnish the Court with your completion certificate and certified driving record. Click here for the form to request your certified driving record.
*Please note that requesting DSC does not require a court appearance
After taking a plea of Guilty or No Contest, the court sets the fine and court costs, defers the disposition of the case to allow the defendant to complete the terms set by the Judge. At the end of the deferral period, the court enters a final disposition. For specific information about a citation and determination of eligibility, contact the court at 940.497.2227 Ext. 119.
*Please note that requesting Deferred Disposition will require a court appearance
A compliance dismissal may be possible if the offense you are charged with is corrected within a specified time frame. These offenses include:
- Expired Inspection*
- Expired Registration
- Expired Driver's License
- Fail to change address on Driver's License
- Defective equipment
*Inspection more than 60 days out of date cannot be dismissed; the stated fine amount applies.
If you correct the matter within 20 days of receiving the citation, the Court may dismiss the charge with a $20.00 fee. You must provide the Court with proof of compliance by showing all corresponding paperwork.
Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (No Insurance)
If you received a citation for no insurance, but you had insurance at the time of the violation, you must provide the Court with verifiable proof. The Court will call to verify that the insurance was active on the day of the citation. If it was, then the citation will be dismissed with no cost to you. If your insurance is found to be not active on the day of the citation, you will have to pay the stated fine amount. You may appear in court on your scheduled court date to discuss payment options with the Judge.
In all trials, the City Attorney or Prosecutor presents the complaint. A complaint document alleges the act you are accused of committing. There are certain rules that must be followed by all participants. The presentation of evidence, the cross-examination of witnesses and any objections must be properly made pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and Texas Rules of Evidence. Just as the Prosecutor is expected to follow the rules, so will you.
You have the following rights in court:
- The right to have notice of the complaint not later than the day before any proceedings.
- The right to inspect the complaint before trial and have it read to you at the trial.
- The right to have your case tried before a jury, if you so desire.
- The right to hear all testimony introduced against you.
- The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you.
- The right to testify in your behalf.
- The right not to testify, if you so desire. If you choose not to testify, your refusal to do so may not be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt.
- You may call witnesses to testify in your behalf at the trial, and have the court issue a subpoena (a court order) to any witnesses to ensure their appearance at the trial.
Types of Trials
There are two kinds of trials. A bench trial is presented to the Judge of the Court. Each side presents their case and the Judge rules on the evidence. A jury trial is presented before a six-member jury panel. Selection of this panel takes place prior to the trial from a pool of prospective jurors. Both sides have an opportunity to ask questions of the jury pool before the selection is made. In each jury trial, you are also permitted to strike three members of the jury panel for any reason you choose, except an illegal reason (such as a strike based solely upon a person's race or gender).
Presentation of the Case
The State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. After prosecution witnesses have finished testifying, you have the right to cross-examine. In other words, you may ask the witnesses questions about their testimony or any other facts relevant to the case. You may not, however, argue with the witness. Your cross-examination of the witness must be in the form of questions only. You may not tell your version of the incident at this time; you will have an opportunity to do so later in the trial. After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident. The State has the right to cross-examine any witness that you call. If you so desire, you may testify in your own behalf, but as a defendant, you may not be compelled to testify. It is your choice, and your silence cannot be used against you. If you do testify, the State has the right to cross-examine you. After all testimony is concluded, both sides can make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the court why you think that you are not guilty of the offense charged. The State has the right to present the first and last arguments. The closing argument may be based only on the testimony presented during the trial.
If the judge tries the case, the judge's decision is called a judgment. If a jury tries the case, the jury's decision is called a verdict. In determining the defendant's guilt or innocence, the judge or jury may consider only the testimony of witnesses and any evidence admitted during the trial. If you are found guilty by either the judge or jury, the fine and costs will be announced at that time. Unless you plan to appeal your case, you should be prepared to pay the fine at this time.
If you are found guilty, and are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, you have the right to appeal your case. To appeal, you must file an appeal bond (bond will be twice the fine and court costs) with the municipal court within 10 days of the judgment, when you appeared in open court.
- You fail to make a plea to violations shown on your citation.
- You fail to comply with the Orders of the Judge.
- You do not complete a payment plan or fail to make payment as promised.
Failure to make a plea
If you fail to make a plea to the violation on your citation by your scheduled court date, the Court will:
- Issue a warrant for your arrest (additional fees will apply)
- Charge the stated fine amount
- Issue a Failure to Appear or Violate Promise to Appear (additional fees will apply)
- Refer your case to a collection agency after 60 days with an additional 30% fee added to the total amount due
Failure to meet the orders of a judge
If you have appeared before a judge and have agreed to a payment plan, community service or other judicial orders, you must complete these orders as specified or a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Your warrant may be cleared if you plea "no contest" or "guilty" to the charge and pay the fine and costs.
If you want to plead "not guilty" to a charge after an arrest warrant has been issued, and a plea has not been entered, you must come to the Court to post the required bond and to obtain a pre-trial court date.
Getting specific information about outstanding warrants
To find out whether you have an outstanding warrant, you may call our office at 940.497.2227 Ext. 119. You will need to know your driver's license number in order to obtain information.
What happens if I ignore my citation? If you fail to appear and enter a plea before your scheduled court appearance, you will face an additional charge of Failure to Appear or Violate Promise to Appear and a warrant for your arrest will be issued.
What if I can't make it to my scheduled court appearance? If you need a continuance, the Court must receive your request in writing three working days before your appearance. You will be allowed only one reset.
Do I have to appear on my scheduled court date to get a payment plan?
You may appear on or before your court date for a payment plan. Please contact the court to determine your initial payment.
Can I request deferred over the phone? No, you must request deferred in person.
If I have a warrant, can I come in and pay without going to jail? Yes, as long as you pay the total of what is owed in cash or money order
Can I pay my citation with a personal check? No, we currently do not accept personal checks
Who do I make my money order payable to? City of Lake Dallas
How do I know when my court date is? It is listed on your citation.
Where are you located? We are in the Municipal Complex at 212 Main Street
NOTICE: The information provided here is preliminary and is for your information. It is not intended to replace any information or instruction of the judge and in no way should be interpreted as providing you with legal advice.