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Frequently Asked Questions

This section is dedicated to addressing common questions and requests for information.
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1. Traffic Citations

The first step to resolving your ticket is to read the instructions on the courtesy letter provided to you by the officer. The courtesy letter contains information on how to resolve your citation. If you are not sure of the violation charged or the fine due, you will have to contact the Justice of the Peace.

Justices of the Peace preside over traffic court. On the citation, the officer will circle the court you are to contact and provide a contact by date. There are three Justices of the Peace in Grimes County. The following is a listing of the Justices of the Peace and their respective precincts:

            Precinct #1- Judge Chris Acord
            PO Box 450, Iola, Tx 77861
            Phone: (936) 394-2060 Fax: (936) 394-4110

            Precinct #2- Judge Lester Underwood
            PO Box 266, Anderson, Tx 77830
            Phone: (936) 873-6452 Fax: (936) 873-3324

             Precinct #3- Judge Mark Laughlin
            PO Box 828, Navasota, Tx 77868
            Phone: (936) 873-3900 Fax: (936) 873-3924


2. Complaints

What is the complaint process?
The Grimes County Sheriff’s Office takes citizen complaints very seriously and accepts and investigates complaints from any source.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, a citizen will normally speak with the employee’s immediate supervisor first, who will ask for specific information, such as:
• Your name and contact information
• When the incident occurred
• Where the incident took place
• Name(s)/description of employee(s)
• Name(s)/contact information for any witnesses
• Details of the incident

You will be provided a complaint form of which will need to be completed and notarized.  Once received by our agency, your complaint will be investigated.  You will be notified of the outcome by letter or telephone.

The Sheriff or Chief Deputy will review all complaint investigations and the subsequent findings.

How do I file a complaint?          
A complaint can be initiated using several methods, including:

Telephone: Phone numbers are available under Staff Contact Information

Sheriff Don Sowell
Chief Deputy Martha Smith

Mail: Grimes County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Sheriff Don Sowell
382 FM 149 West
Anderson, Tx 77830
Email: Email addresses are available under Staff Contact Information
  Sheriff Don Sowell
Chief Deputy Martha Smith

The method chosen to report the complaint does not impact the subsequent investigation, as all complaints are investigated.  While a delay in reporting a complaint will not preclude an investigation, the timeliness of the report may impact our ability to reach a definitive conclusion.

It is important that you provide as complete and accurate details of the event as possible.

What should I expect after making a complaint?
You can expect that your complaint will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.  Because a complaint may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal charges against an employee, you may be required to provide a sworn statement.

You can expect to learn the disposition of your complaint within 30 days or receive an update at least every 30 days.

You can expect your complaint to be investigated fairly without regard to race, gender, religion, past history, sexual orientation, age, etc.

You can expect action to be taken upon the conclusion of the investigation, as appropriate.


3. Fingerprinting Services       (taken from the Texas DPS website)

It is vitally important for fingerprint-based applicant criminal history checks to be processed quickly, accurately and with as little hassle as possible.  Employers, licensing agencies, applicants and public safety depend on it.

Texas law authorizes fingerprint-based criminal history checks for designated volunteers and employment or licensing applicants in a wide variety of areas such as child care providers, teachers, security and armed guards, security system contractors, and a host of others. The current methodology requiring submission of paper fingerprint cards, although effective, is centralized and may take several days to process.  To overcome these problems, DPS released for bid a Request For Proposal (RFP) to deploy applicant fingerprinting service centers throughout Texas. To secure the best value for the state, the RFP declared the successful vendor as the only source of electronic submission for Texas fingerprint-based applicant criminal history checks. L-1 Solutions was selected as the vendor to implement the Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) and is working closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide convenient applicant fingerprinting services throughout the state. For details on the Fast program, contact the DPS Fingerprinting Service Inquiry Unit by emailing

L-1 Enrollment Services website:


4. Racial Profiling

Department Policy:
It is the policy of this department to police in a proactive manner and to aggressively investigate suspected violations of law.  Officers shall actively enforce state and federal laws in a responsible and professional manner without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin.  Officers are strictly prohibited from engaging in racial profiling.  This policy shall be applicable to all persons, whether drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

Officers shall conduct themselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times when dealing with the public.  Two of the fundamental rights guaranteed by both the United States and Texas Constitutions are equal protection under the law and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents.  The right of all persons to be treated equally and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be respected.  Racial profiling is an unacceptable patrol tactic and will not be condoned.

Filing a Racial Profiling Complaint:

You can read a detailed description of the Racial Profiling Complaint process here.


5. Warrants

Warrants are maintained by the Communications Division. 

If you are concerned you have a warrant, you may come in person to the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office to have warrant check completed for yourself only with a valid state issued ID card or driver’s license.

The Grimes County Sheriff’s Office does not complete warrant checks or give out warrant information by phone.


6. Jail Division

When can I visit?

Visitation is being conducted by appointment only. Contact 936-873-6437 to schedule an appointment. 

Please review the Visitation Rules and Regulations here. 

How do I send money to an inmate?
The Grimes County Jail accepts funds in the form of money orders or cashier’s checks only.  All money orders and cashier’s checks must be made out to and sent to the Inmate Trust Fund, not the inmate.  The inmate’s name must be noted somewhere on the money order or cashier’s check, but not on the “Pay to the Order of” line.  The sender’s name, address and phone number must appear in the “sender” section.  Do not enclose personal letters in the same envelope.

Mail all money orders and cashier’s checks to:

Grimes County Jail
382 FM 149 West
Anderson, Tx 77830

How do I send a letter to an inmate?
Correspondence must be mailed, with the envelope labeled as follows:

Grimes County Jail
382 FM 149 West
Anderson, Tx 77830

Letters may not be brought to the jail and left for the inmate.  Do not enclose inmate funds in the same envelope as a letter.

What can I send for an inmate?
The only items inmates may receive from a personal party are letters.  Books, magazines and newspapers may be received if sent directly from the publisher or an online service such as  These books must be soft/paper back; no hard back books will be accepted.

Can I bring medications to the jail for an inmate?         
Medications are ONLY accepted if approved by the Jail Nurse.  You will need to contact the nurse to discuss the procedure for getting a prescription medication approved.  Contact information is available under Staff Contact Information

Can I leave a message for an inmate?
The Grimes County Jail will not forward messages to an inmate unless they are emergency in nature.  We must be able to verify the emergency.  You may mail them a letter or visit them at the specified visitation times.

How do I post a cash bond or pay a cash fine?
You may post a cash bond or pay a cash fine in person at the Grimes County Jail with a cashier’s check or money order.  Only the full amount of the bond or fine will be accepted.  No personal checks or cash will be accepted.  Only exact change will be accepted.

You must have proper identification consisting of a valid state or federal ID card or driver’s license.  All identification must bear the depositor’s photograph.

Grimes County charges:  Cashier’s checks or money orders should be made payable to the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office.
Out-of-County charges:  Contact the Grimes County Jail for instructions

If the defendant appears in court as scheduled and the case is disposed of, the court will issue a refund order.  Cash refunds are processed through the following offices:

Grimes County Clerk for misdemeanor cases

Grimes County District Clerk for felony cases

How do I post a surety bond?
You may post a surety bond using a bonding company.  The bonding company will then post the bond for you.  The bonding company will charge you a fee.

Grimes County is a Bail Bond Board county.  Therefore, only board approved bonding companies can be used to post a bond at the Grimes County Jail.

You can view the Approved Bonding Company list here.

How long will it take for an inmate to be released?
There is no set answer to this question because there are many variables involved.  It depends on how many arrestees are being booked in and how many other inmates are being released.  It also depends on how long it takes to complete the bond/paperwork processing.  The jail is also required to verify anyone being released is clear of all warrants through the state/national database.  This database does go offline for maintenance.  If the database is down, we must wait for it to come back online and complete the wanted person check prior to the inmate’s release.

An inmate went to court today and the Judge said he/she was going to be released, why has the jail not released them yet?
We are required to have court documents in hand prior to an inmates release on disposed of court cases.  Depending on the docket size and/or the work backlog at the clerk’s office, there can be a delay in the jail receiving the required documents.  Once the documents are in hand, the release process can begin if the inmate is also clear of all other charges.

How do I find out someone’s court date?
For Grimes County juvenile cases or misdemeanor cases contact the Grimes County Court At Law and speak with the Court Coordinator.

For Grimes County felony cases contact either the 12th District Court Coordinator or the 506th District Court Coordinator.

For non-Grimes County cases, you would need to contact the appropriate jurisdiction/county.

An inmate is in the Grimes County Jail on charges from another jurisdiction, how can I find out when they will be transferred?
For the safety and security of both officers and inmates, it is the policy of the Grimes County Jail not to release any information regarding inmate transfers.


7. Law Enforcement

What is the county ordinance related to discharging a firearm on property that is 10 acres or less?

You can read the Discharge of Firearms ordinance here. 

The ordinance was passed by the Grimes County Commissioner’s Court on February 14, 1994.  Violation of this ordinance, Local Government Code 240.022, is a Class C Misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.  If previously convicted of an offense under this section, the offense becomes a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $2000.00 and 180 days in jail or both.

What are the regulations of Grimes County governing animal control?

You can read the Regulations of Grimes County Governing Animal Control here. (1.3 Mb pdf file)

The regulations were passed by the Grimes County Commissioner’s Court on September 13, 2011.

Where can I get information on protective orders or restraining orders?
Information related to protective orders and restraining orders is available under Victim Services.

If I would like to hire a law enforcement officer to work security for an event, who should I contact?
The Administrative Assistant coordinates requests for security. Security requests should be made no earlier than 45 days prior to the event and no later than 7 days prior to the event. Contact the Grimes County Sheriff's Office at 936-873-2151.



8. Records

How do I obtain a copy of a report?
Accident reports can be obtained by mail or in person from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.  You will be required to complete an accident report request form in order to obtain a report.

Accident Report Request Form

How to Purchase a crash report online?

Use this link and follow the steps: TxDOT Crash Report Purchase Portal (

Type of Accident Report  Fee:
Non-certified report $6.00
Certified report $8.00

Money Orders, business checks, or cash are accepted forms of payment.  Cash is ONLY accepted in person.  Exact change is required as we cannot make change.  We do not accept personal checks, credit cards or debit cards.

Reports requested in less than 10 days from the accident may not be available for purchase.  Please contact the Administrative Assistant to inquire on the status of your report at (936) 873-6442.

If you are trying to obtain a copy of a vehicle accident report that occurred in Grimes County, but was worked by a DPS Trooper or Navasota Police Department, please call: 979-836-1975 for DPS and 936-825-6475 for Navasota Police Department.

**If you were involved in an accident and the officer issued you a driver's crash report form, the request must be completed by the person(s) involved in the collision and must be mailed to the Texas Department of Public Safety, P.O. Box 4087, Austin, Texas 78773-001, within 10 days of the collision.  The phone number for DPS Austin is 512-424-2000.

INCIDENT & OFFENSE REPORTS   (Public Information Request)

Incident & offense reports may be purchased by mail or in person from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. It our policy that only the public information portion of the report is released. The public information report only contains the type of offense, date/time of offense, name of officer who responded and any items reported stolen or damaged. The public information report will not contain any portion of the officer’s narrative. If your insurance company requests a copy of a report, the public information report contains the information needed. 

You can download the Public Information Request Form here.

There is no fee when the complainant requests a copy of the public information report.  There is a $3.00 fee for all others.

Money Orders, business checks, or cash are accepted forms of payment.  Cash is ONLY accepted in person.  Exact change is required as we cannot make change.  We do not accept personal checks, credit cards or debit cards.

Reports requested in less than 5 days from the date the incident/offense was reported may not be available for purchase.  Please contact the Records Clerk for more information or to inquire on the status of your report at (936) 873-6442.

INCIDENT & OFFENSE REPORTS   (Open Records Request)

An open records request may provide you the detailed report, which contains the officer’s narrative. However, certain reports are not available for release such as reports with a pending criminal investigation or where a juvenile is involved.

You may submit your written request asking for the full and complete report or the portion we are allowed to release by E-Mail or mail to:

Grimes County Sheriff’s Office
382 FM 149 West
Anderson, Tx 77830.
You can download the Open Records Request here.  

All open records requests, once received, will be forwarded to the County Attorney for approval.

Once your request has been approved, the fee for reproducing the record requested will be determined and you will be notified so that payment can be made.  Upon receipt of payment, the report will be mailed to the address provided.

Money Orders, business checks, or cash are accepted forms of payment.  Cash is ONLY accepted in person.  Exact change is required as we cannot make change.  We do not accept personal checks, credit cards or debit cards.

Please contact the Administrative Assistants Lisa Bates or Karlie Young for more information or to inquire on the status of your report at (936) 873-6442 / (936) 873-6443.

How can I obtain the disposition on arrests?
For felony cases, contact the Grimes County District Clerk’s Office.  For misdemeanor cases, contact the Grimes County Clerk’s Office.

What is your policy regarding obtaining a police clearance letter?
For a police clearance letter, you must come in person between 8am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday. You must have a current driver’s license, state-issued ID, military ID or passport.

Regarding obtaining a police clearance letter on another individual, we require you have identification. You must also provide us with a letter signed by the individual for which you are requesting a police clearance letter. The letter must state that the individual authorizes us to release the information to you. The letter must contain the signature of the person for which you requesting a background check and the signature must be notarized.

How do I obtain a copy of my own criminal history or driving record?
A copy of your criminal history and/or driving record can be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  You can find specific information regarding requests at the links below:

DL Requests:

CCH Requests:

You can also contact DPS Austin at 512-424-2000.


9. Sex Offenders

Where do sex offenders residing in Grimes County register?
The Grimes County Sheriff’s Office is the registering authority for all sex offenders required to register in Grimes County, except for those residing within the city limits of Navasota.  The Navasota Police Department registers sex offenders residing in the City of Navasota.

How can I find out if there are sex offenders living in my area or if someone is a sex offender?
The Texas Department of Public Safety provides a free database to the public.  You can access the DPS Sex Offender Database here.

Does the Sheriff’s Office conduct sex offender compliance checks?
Yes.  Multiple times each year Deputies visit the residence of every sex offender registered with the department to ensure compliance.

Who should I contact if I think someone is an unregistered sex offender or for additional information regarding a sex offender registered in my area?        
Contact Sex Offender Registrar at 936-873-6434.


10. Civil Process
Civil Process is served by the Grimes County Constables.  Please contact their offices for more information or obtaining services.  The following is a listing of the constables and their respective precincts:

            Precinct #1- Constable Dale Schaper
            PO Box 450, Iola, Tx 77861
            Phone: (936) 394-6100 Fax: (936) 394-4110

            Precinct #2- Constable Blake Jarvis
            PO Box 677, Anderson, Tx 77830
            Phone: (936) 873-6409 Fax: (936) 873-6410

            Precincts#3 & 4- Constable Wes Male
            205 Veterans Memorial Drive, Navasota, Tx 77868
            Phone: (936) 873-3914 Fax: (936) 873-3913

Click here for a listing of the Constable Fees.

Click here for a map showing the Grimes County Precinct Lines (2.2Mb pdf file)