The law requires that you appear in court on your case. If you were issued a citation, your appearance is noted on the citation. If you have been released on bond, your appearnace date is set on the bond. If you request a continuance, and it is granted, the court will notify you of your appearance date. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail or you may make an appearance in person at the court facility.
Juveniles have a separate set of rules for their appearance.
Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you waive a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider when setting your fine, but the judge is NOT required to reduce your fine. Before pleading guilty or no contest you may want to read the section on pleas. If you plead not guilty, you will need to determine if you want a trial by the jury or before the court. If you do, the trial will be before the judge. When you make your appearance by mail, the court must receive your plea before your scheduled appearance date. If you plead guilty or no contest, you must include a waiver of jury trial, if you waive trial by jury. If you plead not guilty, the court will send you a notice setting the date of your trial.
The above listed information prepared and distributed by the Texas Municipal Courts Association, the Texas Municipal Court Education Center, and the Kyle Municipal Court