Advisement of Rights

Knowing Your Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent and not talk about your case. If you give up your right to remain silent, anything you say to anyone can be used against you in court.
  • You have the right to have a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer and you qualify under the Supreme Court guidelines, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you free; however, you are only entitled to a court appointed lawyer if you are at risk of receiving a jail sentence.
  • You have the right to continue your first appearance Advisement of Rights session of court to obtain a lawyer.
  • You have the right to have a reasonable bail set to guarantee your appearance at future court dates if you are incarcerated in the detention center or the county jail.
  • You have the right to plead not guilty and to have a trial. The trial may be a trial to the court or a trial to jury. A trial to jury may be a jury of a minimum of 3 jurors or a maximum of 6 jurors. If you desire a trial by jury, you must make the request in writing within 21 days of the first appearance Advisement of Rights session and include a jury fee of $25. In addition, you must specify the number of jurors you wish at the time you make the request or you will be tried by a jury of 3.  Except, there is no jury trial right for persons accused of traffic infractions including photo red light and parking violations.
  • At a trial, you have the right to be presumed innocent. You do not have to prove anything. To convict you of the municipal ordinance violation charged, the city attorney, police officer, or the complaining witness prosecuting the case would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you in fact committed the municipal ordinance violation charged.  The burden of proof for traffic infractions which are civil offenses is by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • At a trial, you or your lawyer have the right to cross-examine or question the witnesses that are against you. You have the right to testify or not testify. You have the right to present evidence on your own behalf. You have the right to subpoena or force witnesses to appear and testify for you. You have the right to appeal to a higher court any decision made at a trial.
  • Any plea entered must be your choice, done freely, voluntarily, and not the result of any undue influence, pressure, coercion, or force by anyone.
  • If you plead guilty or No Contest, you will be giving up all of the rights just mentioned, including any right to appeal.

 Municipal Code Violations By Class

  • Class 1 Municipal Code violations carry a penalty that includes a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year or by both such fine and imprisonment
  • Class 2 Municipal Code violations carry a penalty that includes a fine not exceeding $1,000

If the court ultimately orders jail, fines, costs, or other terms and conditions and the court determines that you have failed to comply with the court’s orders, a warrant may be issued for your arrest without any further notice to you. Parents of juvenile defendants (defendants under 18 years of age) are jointly and severally liable for the payment of fines and costs imposed by the court.