By: Jackson S.B. No. 1681 Line and page numbers may not match official copy. Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E. A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the procedures governing the prosecution and 1-3 administration of misdemeanor offenses in the jurisdiction of the 1-4 justice and municipal courts. 1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-6 SECTION 1. Section 27.14, Code of Criminal Procedure, is 1-7 amended to read as follows: 1-8 (a) A plea of "guilty" or a plea of "nolo contendere" in a 1-9 misdemeanor case may be made either by the defendant or his counsel 1-10 in open court; in such case, the defendant or his counsel may waive 1-11 a jury, and the punishment may be assessed by the court either upon 1-12 or without evidence, at the discretion of the court. 1-13 (b) A defendant charged with a misdemeanor for which the 1-14 maximum possible punishment is by fine only may, in lieu of the 1-15 method provided in Subsection (a) of this article, mail or deliver 1-16 in person to the court a plea of "guilty" or a plea of "nolo 1-17 contendere" and a waiver of jury trial. The defendant may also 1-18 request in writing that the court notify the defendant, at the 1-19 address stated in the request, of the amount of an appeal bond that 1-20 the court will approve. If the court receives a plea and waiver 1-21 before the time the defendant is scheduled to appear in court, the 1-22 court shall dispose of the case without requiring a court 1-23 appearance by the defendant. The court shall notify the defendant 2-1 either in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of 2-2 the amount of any fine assessed in the case and, if requested by 2-3 the defendant, the amount of an appeal bond that the court will 2-4 approve. The defendant shall pay any fine assessed or give an 2-5 appeal bond in the amount stated in the notice before the 31st day 2-6 after receiving the notice. 2-7 (c) In a misdemeanor case for which the maximum possible 2-8 punishment is by fine only, payment of a fine, or an amount 2-9 accepted by the court constitutes a finding of guilty in open 2-10 court, as though a plea of nolo contendere had been entered by the 2-11 defendant and constitutes a waiver of a jury trial in writing. 2-12 (d) If written notice of an offense for which maximum 2-13 possible punishment is by fine only or of a violation relating to 2-14 the manner, time, and place of parking has been prepared, 2-15 delivered, and filed with the court and a legible duplicate copy 2-16 has been given to the defendant, the written notice serves as a 2-17 complaint to which the defendant may plead "guilty," "not guilty," 2-18 or "nolo contendere." If the defendant pleads "not guilty" to the 2-19 offense, a complaint shall be filed that conforms to the 2-20 requirements of Chapter 45 of this code, and that complaint serves 2-21 as an original complaint. A defendant may waive the filing of a 2-22 sworn complaint and elect that the prosecution proceed on the 2-23 written notice of the charged offense if the defendant agrees in 2-24 writing with the prosecution, signs the agreement, and files it 2-25 with the court.