Your Rights in Municipal Court

The principle purpose of an arraignment is for you to enter a plea on your charge(s). Before taking your plea, you will be advised of your rights and options. You will also be advised of the offense(s) that you have been charged with, as well as the potential penalties. At that point, you will enter a plea to your charge.

You have the right to:

  • Plead Not Guilty
  • Have a trial on your charge(s)
  • Be released on bail, if you are in custody
  • Have the assistance of an attorney at all stages of your case. ◦If there is a potential of jail time and you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney to represent you if you qualify for such representation.
  • If no jail will be imposed, you have the right to a private attorney at all stages of your case. You do not, however, have the right to a court-appointed attorney because no jail time will be assessed.
  • See and hear the witnesses at the trial and to cross-examine them or ask them questions.
  • To present evidence in your own behalf.
  • To have the court issue subpoenas for you, directing your witnesses to be at the trial and to testify.
  • To remain silent and not be forced to incriminate yourself. That means that you are never required to testify.
  • To be presumed innocent until the prosecution proves your guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You are not required to prove anything. The prosecution must prove the charge, and must do so beyond a reasonable doubt if the case goes to trial.