Make a Plea
When you get a citation, you must enter a plea of:
- No Contest
- Not Guilty to each violation shown on your citation.
You must make your plea on or before 12 straight days from the date shown on the citation. Make a plea on each violation by signing the plea form on the courtesy letter, or on the plea form at the cashier’s windows. Remember only the person who received the citation can sign the plea form. You can make your plea either in person or by mail.
No Contest (Nolo Contendere)
A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the charges against you. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in the event of a subsequent civil suit for damages (i.e., traffic accident for which you are subsequently sued). When you enter a "No Contest" plea, you must pay the fine specified for the violation. Either bring or mail the fine payment to the Court.
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.
Before entering your plea of guilty, however, 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.
- You have a right to have an attorney.
When you plead guilty to a violation, you must pay the fine ordered by the court.
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. When you enter a plea of Not Guilty to a charge, you will receive a date to appear.
What Happens If I Do Not Make a Plea or Ignore My Citation?
If you fail to make a plea for each violation shown on your citation, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. For more information on warrants and how to resolve them, please refer to the Warrants page.
Fines and Payments
Once you have made a plea to each violation, you can then pay your fines. When you plead No Contest or Guilty to violations charged against you, you must make full payment or request time to pay.
Calculate What You Owe
To calculate your total amount due, refer to the Traffic, Parking, and Misdemeanor Fine Schedule. If you are not sure of the violation charged or the fine due, please come to the Court or contact the Court’s information line at (806)378-3072. Please wait at least 3 days after the offense before calling the Court. This will allow us to receive the citation and input it into our system.
Make Your Payment
You may deliver your payment to the Court in one of three ways:
- Bring your payment in person to the Court located at 201 S.E. 4th Avenue (corner of 4th Avenue and Taylor).
- Mail your payment to the Court at P.O. Box 1366, Amarillo TX 79105-1366. Please include full name and citation number.
- Place your payment in the drop-box located in front of the double doors of the Court’s building. The drop box is accessible 24 hours per day 365 days a year.
- Pay online.
Payments can be made by cash, check (except cases on warrants), money order, or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard). Make your check or money order payable to the City of Amarillo Municipal Court. Write your citation number on the memo line of the check. To pay by credit card either complete the information with the courtesy letter mailed to you and mail it to the Court or come to the cashier’s window at the Municipal Court.
Partial and Late Payments
If you do not plead on all charges shown on the citation by the appearance date, late fees will be added. Failure to appear will require a warrant be issued for your arrest and will require , upon your conviction, additional fees will also be charged for the issue of a warrant.
Payments received will be accepted and posted. Payments after 30 days or partial paid warrants will not be accepted. You will be notified by mail at the address shown on your citation if additional fines apply.
If you need an extension of time to pay your fine longer than 30days, come to one of our walk-in court sessions and see the Judge. Our court times are: 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays. If you would like to see the Judge come to one of our cashier’s windows and check in 30-45 minutes before the court time.
You must pay your parking citation within 12 days of the violation date shown on the ticket. When you mail your ticket to the Court the postmark date on the envelope is used to determine whether your payment was made on time or is delinquent. Vehicles with six or more outstanding parking citations are subject to being impounded and towed at the owner’s expense. The vehicle does not have to be in violation at the time that it is seized.
To get an impounded vehicle released, you must come to the Court and pay all fees due and pay the towing company a towing fee.
Please refer to the Fines and Payments for information on getting your payment to the Court.
Requests for a Deferral MUST be Made in Person or by Mail. The Judge will inform you of eligibility of Deferred Disposition. Selected offenses are subject to Judges discretion.
Below is a list of requirements to be considered for Deferred Disposition:
- You do not hold a Commercial Drivers License (CDL); or held a Commercial Drivers License when offense was committed.
- You are not charged with a violation occurring in a construction or work zone.
- You have not already paid your fine which resulted in a final conviction in this case.
- If you are under age 25 and you want to request Deferred Disposition (probation) you will be instructed by the Judge to a take a Drivers Safety Course (to be eligible for Deferred Disposition). YOU MUST APPEAR IN COURT.
- You must pay all fines and court costs at time of request.