Criminal Justice

Municipal Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Top Texas Criminal Judge Over Unpaid Speeding Ticket

An arrest warrant has been issued by a Texas municipal court for the longest-serving judge on the state’s top criminal bench over an unpaid speeding ticket.

A lengthy legal battle over a $193 ticket for driving 19 miles over the limit appeared to reach a conclusion in August, when Judge Lawrence Meyers, who has served nearly 20 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, pleaded guilty, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

He had two months to pay the $481 he now owed, including court costs. The warrant was issued in October by Municipal Judge Ferdinand D. Clervi when the amount remained unpaid.

Meyers told American-Statesman he felt pressured into accepting the plea deal, rather than simply plead guilty to the ticket, as he expected to do, and pay a $100 to $200 fine. He said he took the plea intending to challenge his conviction in a writ of habeas corpus–a filing seldom seen in municipal court, the newspaper notes. In it, Meyer said he will argue that Clervi violated his right to make an in-court plea concerning the speeding ticket and OK’d an excessive fine.

“I hate that there is an arrest warrant out, but I’ve got to look at the situation,” Meyers told the newspaper. “All I was wanting to do was get it over with and be treated like any other citizen. I would’ve paid a fine within the range of punishment.”

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