The folks in the JP's office are more than happy to let you know just how much it will cost you to get through Jack County as quickly as possible.
As with any place else in the Lone Star State, you can choose to have your ticket dismissed after completing a driver safety course or a probationary period, along with the payment of a
And the court's minions will allow you to exercise your constitutional right to due process for the posting of a $200 appearance bond.
What a bargain!
What a farce.
Now I would imagine that most of the folks who receive a traffic citation in Jack County are just passing through (as quickly as possible, no doubt). And I can't think of too many good reasons to drive back up there to contest a traffic ticket. I would assume that the court collects quite a few pretty pennies from folks who just want to get their case dismissed without the hassle of fighting it.
But to charge someone $200 to exercise their right to a trial by jury in a criminal case is not only ridiculous - it's unconstitutional. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it state that the people have a right to due process if they can afford it. Nowhere in the Texas Constitution does it state you only get to exercise your right to due process if you can afford to post a bond.
The entire purpose of the appearance bond is to discourage the few people who are willing to stand up and challenge a speeding ticket. It should be no surprise that it's a justice of the peace court imposing such a rule. The criminal (in)justice system is replete with examples of judges at the bottom of the food chain acting like tyrants.
Sure, defendants in county and district court have to post bonds to get out of jail -- well, if you're a defendant in county or district court you've been charged with an offense that carries the possibility of confinement. Hell, you were handcuffed and carted off to the county jail.
But you aren't subject to confinement if you're found guilty of speeding. When the officer asks you to sign the ticket you are making a promise to appear in court. The requirement of an appearance bond to exercise your right to hold the state to its burden only serves as a restriction on the due process rights of motorists in Jack County.