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Municipal Court
Contact
Court Clerk

512 E. Brazos Ave.
P.O. Box 487
West Columbia, TX  77486

Phone 979-345-4832
Fax 979-345-3178

Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The West Columbia Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the government of the City of West Columbia. It is committed to administering justice in a fair, efficient, and timely manner. Court services are increasingly available online, by telephone, email, and through the mail.

The West Columbia Municipal Court strives to provide professional court proceedings which follow all applicable laws and ensure the rights of all persons are observed.

The West Columbia Municipal Court processes and adjudicates class "C" misdemeanor criminal cases which occur within the territorial City limits.
 

Examples include

Traffic
Disorderly Conduct 

Minor Possession Tobacco or Alcohol
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 

City Ordinance 

Animal at Large 



Court Appearance
 

The law requires that you make an appearance on your case.  If you were issued a citation, the appearance date is noted on your citation.  You may make an appearance in person or by written correspondence.  If you are making an appearance in person, please bring proper identification (driver's license, Texas ID, or passport).  You will also need to provide the court with your current mailing address.

Plea Options

Unless you are entitled to a Compliance Dismissal, you must enter one of the following pleas:
 

Plea of Guilty – By a plea of guilty, you admit that the act is prohibited by law and that you committed the offense, and that you are waiving your right to trial.
 

Plea of Nolo Contendere (No Contest) – A plea of No Contest means that you do not contest the violation filed against you, and that you are waiving your right to trial.
 

When you enter a Guilty or No Contest plea, you may:
 

  • Pay the fine specified for the violation Online
  • Mail or bring in your payment.  The court accepts cash, check, money orders, cashier's checks, Credit and Debit cards (Visa or Master Card only) 
  • Request a Texas Driving Safety Course
  • Request a Deferred Disposition

You may be able to arrange for a Payment Plan if you are unable to pay your citation by the due date.  However, if you do not pay the whole fine and costs within 30 days of the court’s judgment, you must pay an additional $25 time payment fee. You must get permission from the court first.  You may come to the West Columbia Municipal Court office, call the court 979-345-4832, or email for eligibility and instructions.

You may also be eligible for Community Service in lieu of the fine.  The judge would hold an Indigency Hearing in court before granting these hours.  If you are found indigent, you would have permission from the judge to work for a government agency or a non-profit organization to receive credit toward your fine.  You will have to appear, in person, at the West Columbia Municipal Court on the appearance date and time on your citation, before the judge would consider this disposition.

Not Guilty – A plea of Not Guilty means that you deny guilt of the violation of which you were accused.  The court will then set your case for a Pre-Trial Hearing, prior to setting your case for trial.  If your case goes to trial, you will need to select whether you want a jury trial or a bench trial. 
Click here for the Trial Request Form to request a Pre-Trial court date.

Please note:  The judge will not discuss your citation or your case with you, unless you have pled Guilty or No Contest, or the prosecutor is also present. 
 

Trials

Under Texas law, you may be brought to trial only after a sworn complaint has been filed against you. You may be tried only for what is alleged in the complaint. You have the following rights in court:

  • The right to inspect the complaint before trial, and have it read to you at the trial.
  • The right to have your case heard before a jury, if you so desire.
  • The right to hear all testimony introduced against you.
  • The right to call witnesses to testify in your behalf.
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you.
  • The right to testify in your own behalf.
  • The right to not testify.

The State presents its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. After the State is finished you have the right to cross-examine the witnesses. Your cross-examination must be in the form of questions only. You may not tell your version of the incident until closing arguments are heard or if you testify. You have a right to call witnesses who have knowledge of the incident. The State has the right to cross-examine any witness you call.

You may or may not testify in your own behalf, it is your choice. Your decision to not testify cannot be used against you. If you testify the State has the right to cross-examine you.

In conclusion, both sides make closing arguments. This is your opportunity to tell the court/jury why you think you are not guilty. The closing argument can only be based on evidence presented during the trial. You may not add new information during a closing argument.

Judgment/Verdict

In determining the defendant’s guilt or innocence, the judge or jury can only consider evidence admitted and testimony presented during the trial.

Fines 

The maximum fine for most traffic violations is $200 and for state law violations is $500. The assessed fine is determined by the facts and circumstances of the case.  If you are found Not Guilty, a fine will not be assessed.

Court Costs

Courts are required by the laws of the State of Texas to collect court costs and fees.  Court costs are assessed if you are found guilty, plead no contest or guilty, if your case is deferred for a Texas Driving Safety course or if your case is set on a Deferred Disposition. If you are found not guilty, court costs will not be assessed. 
  

Appeal

You have the right to Appeal your case to a higher court if you are found guilty at trial. If you do not request a trial, you may enter a plea of no contest and file your appeal bond. You must file an appeal bond with the West Columbia Municipal Court within 10 days of the judgment.  

Juveniles

All juveniles, 16 years of age or younger, are required to appear in open court. Juveniles who fail to appear or fail to pay their fines will be reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety to deny issuance of their driver’s license. If a juvenile disobeys a court order, the court may order DPS to suspend or deny issuance of their driver’s license or find the child in contempt and assess a fine not to exceed $500.

 


Municipal Court Personnel


        Mary P. Cudd, Municipal Court Judge  
        John Cole, Assistant Judge  
Kelli Kuban, Court Clerk
        Donna Jeffries, Deputy Court Clerk  
        Becki Lewis, Juvenile Case Worker



City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 • webmaster@westcolumbiatx.org
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