Initial Appearance

The arraignment session (initial appearance) is primarily for the purpose of making a plea to an alleged violation of the Law. The following are options of which to be aware:
  1. The Court allows each defendant to have one adjournment for any reason or no reason at all. A later date will be set at this first appearance by the Court Clerk.
  2. The defendant may have a pre-trial conference with the prosecuting attorney at this appearance. At the pre-trial, discussion with the prosecutor about the specifics of the case will be held to see if an agreement can be reached to amend the citation, reduce the forfeiture or reduce the points. This is particularly important if there is something unusual about the citation or if there is concern about the points attached to the citation. A PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE MUST BE HELD WHEN SEEKING TO REDUCE POINTS. With a plea of NOT GUILTY, it is required to have a pre-trial conference with the prosecutor. If an agreement is reached at the pre-trial, the Judge must then sign the agreement. If an agreement is not reached, the Court Clerk will schedule a trial.

The following is an explanation of the types of pleas:

GUILTY - You are admitting that you committed the offense as stated on the citation.

NO CONTEST- You are neither pleading guilty nor not guilty. You merely want to get the matter resolved. The effect of this plea is that you will be found guilty, but that finding of guilt cannot be used against you as an admission of fact in some other court proceeding.

NOT GUILTY - You deny committing the offense, and the matter will be scheduled for a trial. You will not explain your side of the story to the Judge at this time.