Learn My Options

There are two primary options

  • You can email the court to request information regarding your citation
  • There are two primary options when responding to a citation. Each will have different consequences as described below. If you have questions about your rights, your best option, what plea to enter or possible consequences, you should hire a lawyer.

What is the typical timeline of a case in municipal court?

You are legally obligated to take action on your ticket or citation within 30 days after receiving it. Your appearance date is noted on your citation. You or your attorney may appear in person, by email, or by mail (postmarked before the appearance date). Your first appearance is to determine your plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty, which you can read about below.

Your options

Plead "Not Guilty"

You deny guilt of the violation of which you are accused and the state must provide its charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

What will happen next?

Your case will be scheduled for a pre-trial hearing and you will receive notice of the court date. You may choose to discuss your case with a prosecutor and explore alternative solutions. If your case proceeds to trial, you must complete the required documents to inform the court whether you want a bench or jury trial. At your trial, a judge or jury will hear the evidence to determine your guilt or innocence.

What does it mean for my rights?

If you are acquitted or found not guilty, you will not owe payment to the court.

If you are found guilty at trial, a judge will explain the consequences and any payments and court costs owed.

Plead "No Contest" or "Guilty"

If you enter a plea of "no contest," you are not admitting fault or guilt. A plea of "no contest" has the same outcomes as a plea of "guilty;" however, it might be helpful for any civil case involving this matter. If you enter a plea of "guilty;" however, you are admitting to having committed the charged offense. You are waiving your right to a trial.

What will happen next?

The judge will enter a conviction that will go on your driving or criminal record. You may be ordered to pay a fine and court costs. You may be eligible to request a Deferred Disposition or another alternative that, if completed successfully, will lead to your case being dismissed.

You can email the court to make a request for Deferred Disposition. Please see the Driving Safety Course page for information regarding requesting a driving safety course. You may discuss alternatives with a lawyer.

What does it mean for my rights?

If you choose to plead "guilty" or "no contest," you are waiving your right to a trial. A criminal conviction may affect your driver license, job, housing or immigration status. Talk with a lawyer about these consequences.