Skip Main Navigation
Skip to Content

Your Rights as a Defendant

Advisement of Rights

You have the following rights:

  1. To appear before a Judge;
  2. To be advised of the charge(s) against you and of the maximum penalty which may be imposed;
  3. To enter a plea of not guilty and have a trial by a judge, or a jury, if eligible;
  4. To hire an attorney to represent you, and/or, if eligible, to have an attorney appointed for you by the Court.  DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOUR TRIAL DATE TO ASK FOR AN ATTORNEY.
  5. To be presumed  innocent of the charge(s), and if you plead not guilty, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;
  6. To confront at trial those witnesses called to testify against you and to cross examine (ask questions) those witnesses;
  7. To request a list of witnesses to be called by the City (at least 10 days before trial);
  8. To present evidence in your own defense at the trial and to compel the attendance of witnesses by subpoenas issued to you by the Court upon request;
  9. To testify or not to testify on your own behalf;
  10. To a trial by jury if granted by ordinance.  You must file a written request within 21 days of entering your not guilty plea and pay a $25 jury fee.  This fee may be waived by the judge due to indigence.  If you do not file the written request and pay the $25 fee within the time allowed, you will have given up your right to a jury;
  11. To a reasonable continuance for arraignment upon showing of good cause;
  12. To appeal a finding of guilty after a trial;
  13. To enter a voluntary plea to the charges, not being influenced or coerced by anyone.

The maximum possible penalties in Municipal Court are a jail sentence of up to 180 days for certain criminal offenses and a fine of up to $2,650; however, if it is a domestic violence charge, the maximum jail sentence is 365 days.