Explanation of Pleas & Sentencing
Appearing in Court
Court is held on Wednesdays, with morning court sessions at 8:30 a.m. and one evening court a month at 7:00 p.m. If appearing in court, you will need to check in at the court office window in the lobby. Initial appearances and pretrial conferences are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Trials will follow the initial appearances.
There are three options in which to plea:
- Guilty - Admitting guilt to the violation
- No Contest - A statement indicating you do not wish to contest the charge; the Judge must find you guilty upon a no contest plea, but the plea cannot be used as evidence against you in a civil suit for damages
- Not Guilty - Indicates you would like to contest the citation
If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest before the Judge, you will then have the opportunity to discuss your case with the Judge. The Judge will then impose the appropriate sentence and forfeiture. At this time, you may also request an extension for time to pay. If you enter a plea of not guilty, the matter will be scheduled for a pretrial conference with the City Prosecutor. If time allows, you may be seen by the City Prosecutor during that same court session.
If your citation is marked as Must Appear, you are required to appear in person on the indicated court date to enter your plea, unless a not guilty plea has been entered in writing prior to your court date. If your citation does not indicate you must appear, you have the following options:
- If you do not wish to contest the matter, you may pay your forfeiture prior to you court date. Please enclose a copy of your citation. The court will enter a plea of no contest with a finding of guilty - no appearance is necessary.
- You may enter a not guilty plea prior to your court date. If a not guilty plea is entered, the matter will be scheduled for a pretrial conference with the City Prosecutor.
- If it is your intent to enter a plea of not guilty you may enter your plea in writing by mail or email at firstname.lastname@example.org including your current contact information prior to you court date.
- The Not Guilty form may be filled out and submitted to the court office. It must be received prior to your court date.
- You may enter your plea in court on the court date indicated on your citation.
- Juveniles 16 years of age and under with a non-traffic offense must be accompanied by a parent and will be seen by the Judge in closed chambers.
Failure to appear in court, pay your forfeiture, or enter a not guilty plea prior to your initial court date will result in a default judgment entered against you with a plea of no contest, a finding of guilty, and penalties imposed.
When appearing in court, an appropriate dress code shall be followed by all participants.
The following is not appropriate dress:
- Shirts with inappropriate or offensive logos, pictures or language
- Low riding pants
- Low cut tops
- Mini shorts/skirts
- Exposed undergarments
- No hats or sunglasses