Advisement of rights: Municipal Court Judge Frank Dickson will begin each session with a general advisement of each defendant’s rights in Municipal Court.
Arraignment: When your name and case is called, please unmute. If you do not understand your rights or if you were not present when the general advisement of rights was given, ask the Judge to explain your rights. The Judge will read the charge(s) against you, and you will be asked to enter a plea to the charge(s). You may enter one of three pleas:
Guilty: A guilty plea indicates that you admit and do not wish to contest the charge(s) against you. The Judge will provide you with an opportunity to explain the circumstances concerning the charge(s). A guilty plea must be made intelligently and voluntarily and not as the result of any threats, coercion, or promises of leniency.
Not Guilty: A plea of not guilty indicates that you contest the charge(s) and/or that you are requiring the City to prove the charge(s) against you. Upon a not guilty plea, the matter will be tried or set for trial, and the City Attorney will be required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you fail to appear for the scheduled trial, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest and an additional charge for failure to appear may be filed against you.
Nolo Contendere: A plea of nolo contendere (no contest) indicates that you do not admit your guilt, but that you will not contest the charge(s). The plea has the same legal effect as a plea of guilty.The Judge will provide you with an opportunity to explain the circumstances concerning the charge(s).