Criminal Division Court Process
What To Do When You Appear:
Report to the Clerk's office and check in by properly identifying yourself;
1) Provide legal name
2) Use the same spelling as listed on your paperwork
3) If your name or address is incorrect, ADVISE the Court so that it may be corrected.
What Happens When Court Starts:
Once Court convenes, the Judge will advise you of your rights and the four pleas that are available to you:
2) No Contest
3) Not Guilty
4) Not Guilty by reason of insanity
If You Enter a Guilty Plea:
Guilty means that you admit to having done what you are charged with. It is likely that you will be sentenced immediately. The Judge will take into consideration your prior record if any, and the nature of the offense with which you have been charged. Any determination of Fine and Cost will be decided by the Judge at that time. (The violation bureau pay-out schedule does not apply when you appear in Court.)
If You Enter a No Contest Plea:
By pleading no contest you do not admit guilt and therefore no one can use that plea against you in any subsequent trial or hearing whether it is criminal or civil in nature. In a No Contest Plea you admit that the allegations contained in the complaint or citation are true, but only for the purpose of this hearing. If the Judge accepts your plea of no contest and there are sufficient allegations contained in the citation, you will probably be found guilty. The Judge will read the report of the officer and listen to what you have to say by way of mitigation. In such a case, it would be the Judge's finding not your admission of guilt.
The Judge will take into consideration your prior record if any, and the nature of the offense with which you have been charged. (The violation bureau pay-out schedule does not apply when you appear in Court)
If You Enter a Not Guilty Plea by Reason of Insanity:
A plea of not guilty by reason of insanity means that at the time of the commission of the offense, a person did not know, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, the wrongfulness of the act. This plea must be made in writing and may only be entered to a non-traffic offense.
If You Enter a Not Guilty Plea:
Not Guilty means you deny having done one or more of the elements contained in the offense or that you have a justifiable excuse for doing what you have done. If you plead not guilty the matter will be set for trial or for some other further proceeding.
Failure to Appear:
Failure to appear in Court will result in one or more of the following actions by the Court.
An arrest warrant will be issued. When arrested you will be required to post a cash bond to guarantee your appearance in Court or you will otherwise be incarcerated. The court also has the ability to suspend your driving privileges through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.