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Hearings

Arraignments for Petty Misdemeanor & Misdemeanor Cases:

A first appearance is where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  If you plead not guilty, a pre-trial or court-trial is scheduled.  If you enter a plea of guilty, you will be sentenced at that time.  The court encourages you to resolve the matter at the first appearance, and the city attorney is present to discuss the facts of the case, and to attempt a settlement.   

  • If you are assessed a fine, you would be expected to pay it before leaving, or meet with a collector to set up payments.
  • If the charge is alcohol related or assault, you may be required to be assessed by the Corrections Department.
  • This is a large volume court hearing, and you could expect to be at the court several hours.

Pre-trial Hearing for Misdemeanor Case:

This is the second appearance after you plead not guilty at the arraignment.  If the case was a petty misdemeanor, you would have been given a Court Trial date.  The pre-trial is an informal meeting between the city attorney and your attorney and/or yourself.  There is discussion regarding the facts and merits of the case to determine if it warrants going to trial, and it is also an opportunity for the parties to reach a settlement.  If no settlement is reached, the case will be scheduled for a court or jury trial.  There is also a public defender present for consultation if you qualify for the services.

  • If you are assessed a fine, you would be expected to pay it before leaving, or meet with a collector to set up payments.
  • If the charge is alcohol related or assault, you may be required to be assessed by the Corrections Department.
  • This is a large volume court hearing, and you could expect to be at the court several hours.

Court Trial:

A court trial is a trial before a judge.  At a court trial, the county or city attorney will be present to offer testimony regarding the charge(s) against you.  You may also bring witnesses to testify on your behalf.  If your witnesses are reluctant to testify, you may subpoena them prior to the court date.  After all testimony has been heard, the judge hearing the case will make a ruling regarding innocence or guilt. 

Jury Trial:

A jury trial is a trial where the decision of guilt or innocence is decided by a panel of six persons or jurors.  The trial is presided over by a judge.  Testimony from the state and defense is heard by the jury.  If your witnesses are reluctant to testify, you may subpoena them prior to the court date.  The jury must come to a unanimous decision regarding innocence or guilt.