Your Rights

  • You are presumed to be innocent unless and until the city’s prosecution proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • You have the right to be represented by an attorney.  You may hire one to represent you before pleading to any charge, to defend you against charges and to protect your rights in any court procedure before or after the trial.
  • If you are charged with a violation that is likely to lead to a sentence of imprisonment, and you want to be represented by an attorney, but cannot afford one, then you may be eligible to have an attorney appointed to represent you.  
  • You have a right to a trial. If you believe you have not violated the law or have a defense to the alleged violation, you should plead not guilty.  A trial will be set at a later court date.
  • At the trial you have a right to cross examine the witnesses against you, the right to call witnesses in your own behalf and compel their attendance,
  • At the trial, you have the right to remain silent, and the Court may not infer your guilt from your silence.
  • If you lose at the trial, you have a right to appeal to the Circuit Court.
  • At the first setting of your case, you may request a continuance in order to obtain a lawyer or to prepare your defense.  If you desire a continuance, you should request it after your case is called and before entering your plea.

If you plead in court, the Judge has the discretion to set the fine at any amount within the jurisdiction of court.  The fine amount set forth for the Violations Bureau Schedule may not apply in court.

Click here to learn more about what happens after you plea.