City of Sweeny | Municipal Court General Information
City of Sweeny, Texas
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Municipal Court - General Information

The following information has been provided to assist those persons subject to court proceedings.

 

Jurisdiction

Citations for a Class C Misdemeanor that are issued by an officer of the City of Sweeny will be filed in Municipal Court. Typically these are violations of city ordinance or violations of state law for which the punishment is by fine only.

Common offenses include traffic violations such as speeding, running a red light or stop sign, driving without a driversí license or liability insurance or while vehicle registration or inspection stickers are expired, as well as many others.

Common city ordinance infractions include weeds and rubbish, animals running at large, junk vehicles, and numerous parking restrictions.

The Municipal Court also has jurisdiction over any state law violation punishable by fine only including theft of property valued under $50, public intoxication, and minor in possession of alcohol. Citations filed with the Municipal Court are written by Sweeny Police Officers.

 

Court Procedures

Each citation issued sets out an appearance date. It is very important that the defendant take action on the citation on or before the appearance date shown. Please do not appear the same day you receive the citation. Allow three business dates from the violation date before contacting the court. If a defendant is issued a citation and must request a reset or continuance, the defendant must contact the court prior to the original appearance date. A new court date will be assigned at that time. The case will only be reset once. At the time of the first court appearance, the defendant will be advised of their rights, advised of the charges pending against them, and they will enter a plea on the case. (Telephone contact is not an appearance.) That plea will determine if there will be further proceedings on the case.

 

Pleas

GUILTY or NO CONTEST:  If a defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and either a fine is imposed and/or an alternative disposition of the case is entered. The amount of the fine assessed is determined by the facts of the case. Mitigating circumstances may lower the fine. On the other hand, aggravating circumstances may increase the fine. Fines in Municipal Court can range from $1 to $2,000 depending on the offense charged. In addition to a fine, court costs mandated by the state will be charged. The costs are different depending on the offense. Questions concerning specific fines and costs should be addressed to the court.

NOT GUILTY:  A plea of not guilty will result in the case being set for trial either with a jury or without a jury. A jury of six members will be selected to hear each jury case. If the defendant is found not guilty, no fine or court costs are owed and no conviction is reported on the defendantís record. If the defendant is found guilty, a fine and court costs will be imposed and a conviction is recorded.

 

Failing to Appear in Court

Failure to appear on the scheduled court date (or before) may result in the filing of additional criminal charges, the issuance of an arrest warrant, and the imposition of additional fines and costs.

 

Courtroom Standards

While your case is proceeding through the court system, please observe the following:

  • No weapons of any type are permitted in the Municipal Court.

  • Sit quietly in the courtroom whenever court is in session.

  • When addressing the Judge, do not lean on the bench.

  • No food or drinks are allowed in the courtroom.

  • Smoking is prohibited in all City buildings.

  • Avoid bringing small children to court. If you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times. Parents will 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 a shirt, pants or skirt and shoes. T-shirts with offensive slogans or pictures are not allowed.

  • Hats should be removed before entering the courtroom.

 

Juveniles

A person is considered a juvenile if the person is at least ten (10) years old but under seventeen (17) years old charged with criminal offenses. Parents or legal guardians of juveniles who are defendants in the Sweeny Municipal Court are required to be present during all proceedings with the juvenile.

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