What happens on your day in court?
It is very important that you arrive in court on the day and time stated on your ticket, summons, subpoena or court notice. Before the session starts, or once court begins, roll call is generally taken. If you arrive late, or if your name is not called, you should notify court personnel immediately.

If the defendant does not appear, the judge will advise all witness when they may leave. Witnesses will be notified through the mail when they are to return. A warrant may be issued for the defendant who fails to appear, and his or her driving privileges may be suspended.

All municipal court proceedings are tape recorded. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone in the courtroom to remain quiet until it is their turn to speak. The length of time you will be in court depends on many things. Some cases take longer than others. Please be patient so that the court may give each case the time and attention it deserves.

At the beginning of the court session, the judge will give an opening statement, explaining court procedures, Defendants' rights, and penalties. As each case is called, the judge will individually advise each defendant of his or her rights. A case may be postponed to permit the defendant to hire a lawyer. If the defendant wishes to go ahead without a lawyer, the judge will ask for his or her plea. If the defendant pleads guilty, the judge will ask questions regarding the offense charged to make sure there is a basis for the guilty plea.

If the defendant pleads not guilty and all involved parties are present and prepared, the case will proceed to trial. Once the judge has heard the testimony, he or she will decide if the defendant is guilty, not guilty, or if the case should be dismissed. If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial, the judge will impose a sentence.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Municipal Court?
2. What type of cases are heard in Municipal Court?
3. When is a court appearance required?
4. How do I enter a Not Guilty Plea?
5. What happens on your day in court?
6. In what order are cases called?
7. What are "indictable charges"?
8. What happens at an "arraignment" or "first appearance"?
9. Who are the people involved in court?
10. Who is entitled to a public defender?
11. What is a Plea Agreement?
12. What happens during a trial?
13. What are the possible penalties?
14. What is mediation?
15. What is a Conditional Discharge?
16. How can I appeal my case?