- Municipal Court
- Understanding Your Plea
Understanding Your Plea
This may be your first visit to this Court. It is our desire that you be fully advised of your rights and the Court’s procedures. You have the right to enter a plea of either GUILTY, NOT GUILTY and/or NO CONTEST to the charge against you.
If you plead “GUILTY”: You are admitting that you committed the offense. You will be found guilty and a fine will be imposed. You will be given an opportunity to explain your side of the story to the Judge who will consider the facts when imposing a fine.
If you plead “NO CONTEST”: You are not admitting or denying your guilt, however, you will not contest the facts behind the charge. A NO CONTEST plea cannot be used against you in another court. For example, if you were cited for a violation that occurred due to an accident, you may be sued in a civil action. Due to the fact that you plead NO CONTEST, in this court, it may not be used against you in any court of law. However, in this Court, you will be found guilty. You will be given an opportunity to explain your side of the story to the Judge who will consider the facts when imposing a fine.
If you plead “NOT GUILTY”: You deny committing the offense. The matter will then be set for a pretrial conference with the Assistant City Attorney. You will be given a date and time to return for this pre-trial. The pretrial conference is an opportunity for both sides to discuss the available evidence. If your case is not resolved at the pre-trial, it will be set for a trial at which all witnesses, including the arresting officer, must be present. You may be represented by an attorney, at your expense. If you fail to attend the pretrial conference or a trial, you will be found guilty by default. A fine will be imposed.
Please note: If you make a "not guilty" plea prior to your initial appearance date, the court will enter your plea for you. You do not need to appear at that initial appearance court date listed on your citation. You will be mailed a pretrial notice. You must appear at the pretrial on the date and time listed on your Pretrial Notice. If you fail to show at this pretrial conference, you will automatically be found guilty by default.
Plea Request Form
Please fill out this form to enter a plea of NOT GUILTY and follow the instructions listed. The NOT GUILTY plea must be received in our office prior to your initial court date. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED OF YOU NEXT COURT DATE BY MAIL OR EMAIL. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO NOTIFY THE COURT OF ANY ADDRESS CHANGES.