Your first appearance in court is for an arraignment. The purpose of an arraignment is to provide you with the opportunity to enter a plea in your case.
Prior to entering a plea, you will have the opportunity to discuss your case with a city prosecutor. The purpose of that discussion is to explore options for entering into a disposition or plea bargain and possibly avoiding having to return to court on a future date.
After you have spoken to the city prosecutor, you will take a seat in the courtroom and wait for the judge to call your case. When you are called, please step to the podium. If you are under the age of 18, you must have a parent or legal guardian with you who must step to the podium with you. All activity in the courtroom is recorded, so please speak loudly and clearly.
If you plead not guilty
, your matter will be set for a trial to the court or to a jury if allowed by law. The trial will occur at a future date. If you plead guilty, your case will likely be concluded at your first appearance.
Should you elect to plead guilty or no contest to the original violation or an amended violation, you are stating to the court that:
- You are waiving your right to be represented by an attorney
- You are waiving your right to be presumed innocent
- You are waiving your right to a trial
- You understand your rights, the charge, the effect of your plea, and the possible penalty
- Your plea is voluntary and not the result of undue influence or coercion
If the court finds that these circumstances are satisfied, we will accept your plea and allow you an opportunity to say anything that you may want considered before sentence is imposed against you. If the court finds that these circumstances are not satisfied, we will reject your plea, enter a not guilty plea on your behalf, and set your case for trial.