Municipal Court

Courtney Acklin

Mariela Pacheco

Hon. Brenda Johnston

Presiding Judge

Hon. James Todd

Associate Judge

Palestine City Hall

504 N. Queen Street
Palestine, TX 75801

Hours:
Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Drivers Safety Course

Overview
If you are charged with a traffic offense under the Transportation Code, you may request on or before your court date, either at the Municipal Court Clerk's Office or by certified mail, to take a Driver's Safety Course (DSC).

Requirements
In order to request a DSC, you will be required to do the following:

  • Pay the State Costs, State Traffic Fine and Administrative Fee $129.10; or $154.10, if the offense occurred in a school zone
  • Plead Guilty or No Contest and waive your right to a jury trial or hearing by the court
  • Present valid Texas Driver's License (DL) or permit
  • Present proof of Financial Responsibility or Insurance with you as a listed driver
  • Submit an affidavit via a Request For Driver's Safety Course that states you are not completing or have completed a DSC within the past twelve (12) months

Application Process
On or before your court date, mail or bring in the items above to the Municipal Court Clerk's Office, and upon approval, the court will grant you permission to take the course. If applying by mail (certified), please wait until you have received permission from the court before you take the course. You will have 90 days in which to complete the course and obtain a certified copy of your driving record from Austin. The court will provide you with an Application for Copy of Driving Record to send to the state to request your driving record or you may request a copy online - record type 3A only.

Course Information
Upon successful completion and return of your documents to the court, your citation will be dismissed. Judgment will be deferred for 90 days to allow you time to complete the course and obtain a certified copy of your driving record from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Austin. All documents, including the course completion certificate approved by the Texas Education Agency(TEA), the certified copy of your driving record, and request for Driver's Safety Course, must be returned to the Court on or before the 90th day to have your citation dismissed.

Not Eligible For A Driver's Safety Course
The following actions render you ineligible for a driver's safety course:

  • Currently taking or have taken the course within twelve (12) months prior to receiving your citation
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Passing a school bus
  • Subtitle C Rules of Road offenses in work zone while workers are present

Note: As of September 1, 2003, you are not eligible for a Driver's Safety Course if you possess a CDL, even if you are in a personal vehicle (refer to Article 45.051(F) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure).

Driver's Safety Course Locations
The Court is not allowed to recommend a driving school. However, the court has a list of courses offered in the Palestine area. If you do not reside in the Palestine area, in your search for a course, ask if their school is an approved course for the dismissal of a traffic citation. You may also visit schools approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Order Driving Records
Texas driving records are available through the following methods:

*The cost for the certified driving record is $10. If the request is made online, the cost is $12.

Failure To Complete A Driver's Safety Course
If you fail to complete any one of the requirements by your due date, your case will be set for a show cause hearing. A letter will be mailed to the address on your citation. There are no resets for a show cause hearing, except in the event of an emergency that can be verified by the court. If you fail to appear at the hearing, a final judgment will be imposed and a capias pro fine warrant may be processed for your arrest. You may waive your hearing by appearing in person or by writing to the court to waive your show cause hearing and pay the remaining balance of the fine.