Every citation has a court date and time printed on it. If you appear in court, the following information will help you to be as prepared as possible:
As far as your plea, you have three choices: Guilty, No Contest or Not Guilty.
If you plead “guilty” you will be admitting that the charge is correct. You will be found guilty and the penalty provided by law will be imposed.
If you plead “no contest” you are saying that you do not admit the charge but that you do not wish to fight it. In that event, you will be found guilty and the penalty will be imposed. There may be an advantage to a “no contest” plea in cases where other civil liability is involved, such as an auto accident. A “no contest” plea cannot be used against you in a civil liability court case.
If you plead “not guilty”, you may be required to guarantee your appearnce with an appearance bond. Except for cases involving OWI (drunken driving), you will be advised to have a conference with the City Attorney so that you may (1) explain extenuating circumstances, (2) be informed as to the elements of the charge, and (3) be informed as to the elements of your defense. Do not hesitate to plead “not guilty” if you feel you have been unjustly charged.
If you need additional time to decide how to plead or to see a lawyer, ask for it.
If you need help or information of any kind, please ask for it.
A finding of guilty in a traffic matter may result in the assessment of demerit points. It is your responsibility to be informed as to your demerits.
You are entitled to a trial by jury for OWI cases by making a timely request and by paying the appropriate fees. You are entitled to a jury trial on all other Municipal Court cases only if you appeal a conviction after a trial in Municipal Court.
Failure to pay the forfeiture (civil fine) on time will result in one or both of the following:
- The loss of your driving privileges until payment is made but no more than two years
- Commitment to the County Jail for one day for every $50.00 owed
- Filing with Tax Intercept Program