Court Appearance / Plea Information
Please note: You may not need to appear in person to handle your citation. if you are unsure if you need to appear in person, please contact the Court at 512-259-1239, ext. 0. A Clerk will be happy to explain your options.
The law requires that you appear in court on your case. If you were issued a citation, your appearance date is noted on your citation. If you have been released on bond, your appearance date is set on the bond. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, email attachment with your signed plea and copy of picture ID or you may deliver your plea in person to the court. When you make your appearance by mail the envelope must be postmarked no later than your scheduled appearance date. A phone call does not constitute an appearance. An appearance must be made in person or in writing.
Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you decide to waive your right to a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider when setting your fine. If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a jury trial unless you waive your right to a jury trial. If you do so, the trial will be before a judge. You will be set for a pre-trial first to hear any motions that you or your attorney (if represented by counsel) want to request. Also it is an opportunity for you or your attorney to speak with the prosecutor to see if something can be worked out to both parties satisfaction and not have to continue on to trial. However, if you are not able to work out an agreement you will be set for a jury or bench (before judge) trial. You will be notified by mail of all pre-trial and trial proceeding dates. You or your attorney must be present on the scheduled pre-trial and trial dates.
For most offenses, unless you need to see the Judge, you may enter your appearance before the date and time noted on your citation. You may obtain a plea form to fill out and sign at the court window or print this "Plea Form (PDF)" and return to the court. You may mail it, fax it, or scan and email to the Municipal Court.
Juveniles ages 16 and under will be notified by mail of their appearance date as they are required by law to appear in open court with their parent or legal guardian on all charges filed against them.
Alcohol & Tobacco Offenses
If you have been charged with an alcohol offense you must appear in person in open court on your scheduled appearance date. If you are 17 years of age or younger you must appear with your parent or legal guardian.
If you have been charged with a tobacco offense you must appear in person in open court on your scheduled appearance date. If you are 16 years of age or younger you must appear with your parent or legal guardian.
Definition of Pleas
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. Before entering your plea of guilty 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.
Plea of Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the State's charge against you. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages. A plea of nolo contendere will allow you to speak to the judge and explain any extenuating circumstances about your case before rendering judgment. Mailing in full payment of your fine and court costs constitutes a No Contest plea
Plea of Not Guilty
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 hire an attorney to represent you. You or your attorney must be present at the trial. If you represent yourself, see section on trials to help you understand your rights and trial procedures.
Pleas may be made in person, in open court, or by mail. Pleas may be sent to:
Leander Municipal Court
The Pat Bryson Municipal Hall
201 N Brushy Street
Leander, TX 78641