Defendants should be aware that if they proceed to trial and are convicted that the Court may consider the full range of the fine, upon a finding of guilt. The fine assessed by the court upon a finding of guilt may be higher than the “window fine” which is the amount a defendant would pay before a trial or as part of deferred disposition probation. Pro-se defendants should also be aware that additional fees may be assessed by the Court (as court costs) upon a finding of guilt after a trial, including, but not limited to: subpoena fees, jury fee, and officer overtime fees. The Code of Criminal Procedures allows the court to impose the actual overtime costs for off-duty officers having to testify at trial, if the defendant is found guilty of the offense. These overtime cost fees can be significant and usually range from $75 - $150. Please see the actual statute allowing these officer overtime fees, below:
Police Officers Testifying
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Allows Recovery of Overtime Pay for off-duty Officers who testify at Trials.
Article 102.011 of The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows additional fees that the court is required to collect upon conviction of any fine-only offense when a peace officer performs the service. One of these services officers perform is testifying as witnesses at trials. If the officer is off-duty when testifying at a trial, the overtime costs that the city is required by state law to pay the officer is recoverable to the city as a court cost. Litigants who elect a trial (by judge or trial by jury) should be aware that if they are convicted of the offense, with which they are charged that the costs of overtime paid to a peace officer for time spent testifying in a trial or for traveling to or from testifying in a trial will be added in as a court cost, in addition to state court costs and fine.
Of course, if a Defendant is found not guilty at trial, then there is an acquittal and no fees or costs are imposed or paid by the defendant.