What is an arraignment?
An arraignment is an initial hearing before a judge during which the judge reads the charges to the defendant, informs the defendant of his or her constitutional rights, and gives the defendant the opportunity to enter a plea. If the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), the judge may impose sentence immediately. If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the matter is set for trial at a later date in the month.

Arraignments are held on the first, second and third Wednesday of each month, excluding holidays. Most officers are not subpoenaed to court for this date. On arraignment day you may enter the following pleas:

  • Guilty – This plea means that you acknowledge having committed the violation stated on the citation.
  • Not Guilty – This plea means that you deny having committed the violation stated on the citation and that the City must prove its charge(s) against you at a court hearing. If the officer is already present in court, the case may be heard. If the officer is not in court, the case is then set for a non-jury trial where any witnesses and police officers are subpoenaed, and evidence is used by either side.
  • Nolo Contendere (no contest) – This plea is neither an admission or denial of charge(s). It states that you are not contesting the charges and do not want a trial, and is admission that you believe the City would prove the charges, if not rebutted by your evidence. The plea is accepted at the court’s discretion.

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1. What is the amount of my fine?
2. Is my citation a mandatory Court appearance?
3. How do I pay a citation and not have to appear in court?
4. Can I speak to the judge before my court date?
5. What should I do if I cannot appear in court on my court date?
6. What if I fail to appear in court?
7. What is an arraignment?
8. What is a bench trial?
9. How do I get a trial by a jury?
10. How do I appeal the judge's decision?
11. Is there a dress code and prohibited item policy?
12. Are there any security precautions I should be aware of?
13. What can and cannot the court staff do to help?
14. Where does the money go?
15. What are Rule NISIs?
16. How do I request a certified disposition?