(adapted from "Your Rights in Court" pamphlet)
This may be the first time you have ever
appeared in Court and it is the duty of the Court to inform
you of your rights and Court procedure.
This court is convened to accept the pleas of
those who have been arrested and charged with committing
misdemeanor violations within the jurisdiction.
You have already received a copy of the
Complaint or Complaints which have been filed against you;
when your name is called, you are to come forward and stand
before the Bench.
You will be asked to enter one of the following
- Guilty: The plea of Guilty is a complete admission of
- Not Guilty: The plea of Not Guilty is a denial of
- No Contest: The plea of No Contest is not an admission of
guilt, but is an admission of the truth to the facts
alleged in the Complaint. This plea cannot be used against
you in any civil proceeding.
If you refuse to plead, the Court will enter a Not Guilty Plea
on your behalf.
If you plead Guilty or No Contest, you will be given an
opportunity to make a brief statement before any
If you plead Not Guilty, your case will be set for Trial at a
Before accepting your plea, the Court must inform you that you
have the following rights:
The right to know and understand the charge or charges against you.
The right to counsel.
The right to be represented by counsel at all critical stages
of these proceedings, even if you intend to plead Guilty.
The right to a reasonable continuance to secure counsel.
The right to have counsel assigned to you without cost if you
are unable to employ counsel and if jail is a possible
The right to remain silent and make no statement at any point
in the proceeding. Any statement made may be used against
You have the right to a Preliminary Hearing if you are charged
with a Felony.
The right to a Jury Trial in any case where a jail sentence
is possible. A demand for Jury Trial must be in
writing and filed with the Court no later than ten
days before Trial.
The right to waive a Jury Trial and have your case tried
before a Judge. Failure to properly demand a Jury Trial will
result in your case being tried before a Judge.
The right to confront the witnesses and have the Court
subpoena witnesses on your behalf.
The right to present witnesses and have the Court subpoena
witnesses on your behalf.
The right to bail.
The right to know the maximum penalty for the offense.
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
If you are convicted of a traffic violation, a record of the
conviction will be sent to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and
will become a part of your driving record.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and you are
convicted of the offense to which you plead Guilty or No
Contest, it may have the consequences of deportation,
exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial
of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United
Certain offenses contain penalty clauses in which second
offenses are enhanced to more serious penalties and in some
These instructions are required by Law and are lengthy and
complicated. If you have any questions regarding any part
of the proceedings, please call the same to the attention
of the Court.