COURT UPDATE AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Van Alstyne Municipal Court will NOT be holding in-person court appearances until further notice.  Court hearings will be held virtually via Zoom.  These virtual hearings via zoom will be preliminary hearings held by the Municipal Court Prosecutor, Rick Dunn.  If you have not received a phone call or letter regarding the Zoom information, please contact the court for this information.

In the State of Texas, court hearings are public and in order to comply with this, the hearings will be streamed live on YouTube.  No one should record the live stream.  If you are caught recording, you will be kicked out of the hearing.  Once the hearing is over, the video will be permanently deleted from YouTube and you will not be able to go back and search it or view it.  If you do not have the ability to access Zoom, please contact the court for alternate arrangements.  Please contact the court to provide your most current mailing address, phone number and email address.  This will ensure you are kept up-to-date about your virtual hearing date and will be able to receive more information about your virtual hearing, for example: Zoom Meeting website, Meeting ID and instructions.

FAILURE TO APPEAR for your hearing or FAILURE TO PAY OR MAKE ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS may result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest, a charge of Failure to Appear (see Texas Penal Code 38.10) is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00 plus costs and fees, and additional warrant fees assessed to your original charges.

Zoom Guide for Participants

The law requires you to make an appearance on your case. Your appearance date is noted on your citation.

There are several ways to appear:

  • You or your attorney may appear in person during open court*
  • You may deliver your plea in writing*
  • A payment constitutes a plea of no contest, a waiver of jury trial, and a waiver of discovery*

* If you choose to enter a plea of not guilty on your case you must appear in person during open court. See pleas for more information on entering a not guilty plea on your citation.

Minors and Juveniles

Juveniles and persons charged with status offenses must appear in person on his or her scheduled court date.

Juvenile – A juvenile is any person under the age of 17. Juveniles must appear in person on his or her scheduled court date with a parent or legal guardian.

Status Offense – A status offense describes an offense that relates to the age of the defendant. Defendants charged with a status offense must appear in court on his or her scheduled court date.

Examples of status offenses:

  • Minor in Consumption of Alcohol
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Driving Under the Influence – Minor
  • Minor in Possession of Tobacco
  • Failure to Attend School
  • Any other offense that is illegal because of the age of the person at the time of the offense.

Court Dress Code

Proper dress is required in the courtroom. The court reserves the right to refuse to hear any case from those who fail to abide by the dress code. Proper attire does not include: hats, caps, bandanas, bare feet, flip flops, revealing clothing, ripped or torn clothing, heavily soiled clothing, obscene clothing, or visible undergarments.