Initial Appearance & Pleas

The court date indicated on the citation is commonly referred to as the initial appearance. The Court will call cases in the order you check in with bailiff. When your name is called, you will be asked to enter a plea. The choice of plea is between guilty, no contest, or not guilty. A plea of guilty indicates your admission of the charges against you. A plea of no-contest is not an admission, not a denial. It is generally viewed as a request to get the matter over with without any further need for appearance. On a plea of no-contest, you will be found guilty.

If you enter either a guilty or no-contest plea, in many cases you'll be given some consideration/reduction as to points or forfeiture/fine amount by the prosecutor who is in court.

The third choice for plea is not guilty. Enter the not guilty plea if you feel the ticket was issued in error, you have a defense to the ticket, and wish to contest the ticket. Upon a plea of not guilty, the matter will be set for pre-trial.