Arraignment: The time scheduled for the defendant to appear in court to enter a plea.
Complaint or Citation: A document that states what crimes or violations you are charged with.
Continuance: The adjournment or postponement of a session, hearing, trial, or proceeding to a subsequent day or time. The Municipal Court Clerk can grant one continuance if not requested on the day of court.
Court Cost: Upon receipt of a ticket, an additional $80.50 charge for court costs is assessed. This fee is non-negotiable, even if no court appearance is required.
Diversions: A diversion is a contract for qualified defendants that obligates you to comply with certain conditions for a certain period of time, including payment of fines and fees up front. By agreeing to the conditions, a defendant gives up the right to a speedy trial. However, if the defendant successfully completes the diversion, the charges will be dismissed. Charges will be reinstated if the defendant fails to complete the diversion. The City does not take payments on a diversion agreement. When approved you will generally be given 30 days to review, sign and return the diversion agreement to the court clerk with payment in full.
Failure to Appear: If you do not appear for your scheduled court date, a bench warrant will be issued. A fee will be assessed if a bench warrant is issued.
Guilty: Admission that you committed the act.
No Contest: A plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. While not technically a guilty plea, it has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain.
Not Guilty: Denying guilt. The City Prosecutor must prove in a bench trial (judge only, no jury) that you are guilty.
Plea Agreements: Agreements made between the defendant and the City Prosecutor.
Pro Se: Acting as your own attorney.
Sentencing: The judge will reach a verdict at the end of the trial. If the judge enters a guilty verdict, the penalty will be announced at the time. Sentencing options could include fines, fees, jail time, probation, house arrest, community service, and/or restitution, depending on the charges.