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Court Placement
An arraignment is held to make sure that you understand any charges which have been brought against you, and it is also to ensure you understand any fines, penalties, or procedures that may incur from that point forward.

Arraignments are heard on Tuesdays from 9:00 am until court is adjourned. You must be signed in before 9:00 am or you will not be allowed to attend court for that day.

At an arraignment hearing you will be allowed to enter one of three pleas.
  • Guilty - You may enter a guilty plea, which relays to the court that yes, you did what is stated and you will take whatever fine or penalty is assessed.
  • No Contest - A no contest plea is still basically an admission of guilt; however, it does allow you to explain the circumstances involved in your particular case prior to any fine or penalty being imposed. It may also remove some civil liability should there be a suit incurred over your citation.
  • Not Guilty - If you enter a not guilty plea, the court will set the matter for trial. You may be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford one and you need an attorney, the court may appoint counsel to represent you.

Show Cause 
If you are served with or mailed a show cause order, you must appear before the judge on the date stated in the show cause order. At that time, be prepared to explain to the judge why you could not obey the order, such as appearing in court on your scheduled date, as an example.

The pretrial conference hearing typically takes place 30-45 days after your arraignment. It is not the actual trial, but you will be in a courtroom in front of a judge. It is an important part of the trial proceedings because at the pretrial conference the judge will give you your trial date if an agreement is not made between you as the defendant and the City prosecutor. At the pretrial conference, the City prosecutor may give you another chance to accept a plea offer.

All trials in the Municipal Court are bench trials; that is, the judge alone hears evidence and decides the case. There is no jury.