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Traffic Court - What You Need to Know

What to Expect at the Hearing

  • Parties must first check in with the Bailiff in the courtroom. *A list of defendants with the case number is posted outside each courtroom.
  • If the charge carries a possible penalty of jail and the Defendant meets the financial guidelines, they can speak with a Public Defender.
  • Defendants are given the opportunity to discuss their case with the Prosecutor who will discuss options.
  • The Magistrate will call each case, ensure that the Defendant understands their rights and potential penalties for the charges, accept the plea, and sentence those who plead or are found guilty.
  • Failure to appear for a mandatory Court appearance will result in a warrant being issued.
  • Defendants who have a payable ticket and do not want to appear for court can pay the ticket in advance.

Plea Options

GUILTY:

An admission of guilt to the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. If you plead guilty, the Court will find you guilty and in most cases will impose the sentence immediately. Depending on the charge, the sentence could include a fine, court costs, license suspension, license points, or jail. Defendants may ask for additional time to pay their fines and costs.

NO CONTEST:

No admission of guilt, but an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint, along with any additional information that may be provided to the Court by the Prosecutor. A plea of No Contest can not be used as evidence against the defendant in a later civil action. The Magistrate will determine if the facts constitute the offense and if so, will enter a finding of guilty and impose the sentence immediately. Depending on the charge, the sentence could include a fine, court costs, license suspension, license points, or jail. Defendants may ask for additional time to pay their fines and costs.

NOT GUILTY:

Denial of guilt and/or a denial of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. The Magistrate will order that the case be randomly assigned to a judge and scheduled for a later date. The defendant may request that the case be scheduled within their right to a speedy trial or may waive that right. If the defendant is charged with an offense that carries a possibility of jail, the defendant may request a jury trial.


*A DEFENDANT MAY REQUEST A CONTINUANCE OF THEIR ARRAIGNMENT TO A LATER DATE BY FILING A MOTION AND ENTRY FOR CONTINUANCE AT LEAST TEN (10) DAYS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED COURT DATE.