This may be the first time you have ever appeared in a Courtroom. The purpose of this section is to give you a brief overview of what may take place on your first appearance. The first appearance is called an Initial Appearance. The judge will be asking you for information regarding your correct name, both physical and mailing addresses, phone numbers and other such important information. The judge will advise you of your Constitution Rights, read the alleged charge(s), the possible penalties of each alleged charge(s) and advise you of any possible mandatory penalties that by law must be imposed. He may at that time move into the Arraignment Hearing, wherein he will ask you how you are pleading to the alleged charge(s).
You should have already received a copy of the complaint(s) or citation filed against you. If not you may request one at the counter or in the courtroom. When your name is called, you are to come forward and stand before the bench.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, pleading guilty or no contest to a crime may affect your immigration status. Admitting guilt may result in deportation even if the charge is later dismissed. Your plea or admission of guilt could result in your deportation or removal, could prevent you from ever being able to get legal status in the United States, or could prevent you from becoming a United States citizen.
If you are convicted of a traffic violation, a record of the conviction will be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles and shall become a part of your driving record. That agency may then require you to complete a testing or educational program of their choosing. A conviction of any misdemeanor will result in a criminal record and may jeopardize your ability to obtain employment or naturalization.
You have the right to be present at your court proceedings. If you fail to appear, the proceedings may go forward with you.
The Judge will read the charge(s) against you and you will be asked to enter one of three pleas. They are as follows.
If you are unsure of how to plead or if you refuse to enter any of the above pleas, the Court will enter a plea of Not Guilty on your behalf and your case will be set for pre-trial or Trial.
If your plea is Guilty or No Contest to the charges alleged, the judge will ask you again if you understand your rights and are WAIVING such rights by entering one of these pleas.
NOTE: Please consult with an attorney for further information.
For more information regarding the charge(s) made against you in your complaint, you may check the following websites:
|Class 1 Misdemeanor||$2,500.00||6 months||3 years|
|Class 2 Misdemeanor||$750.00||4 months||2 years|
|Class 3 Misdemeanor||$500.00||1 month||1 year|