Statement of Rights
It is important for you to know and understand your rights and our procedure. If you have any questions when your case is called, please let us know. Our desire is to protect your rights.
You Have a Right
- To know the nature of the charge filed against you.
- To know the identity of the person filing that charge.
- To have a copy of the charging instrument in your possession.
- To talk to an attorney before entering any plea and a continuance to talk to that attorney.
- To a trial and in certain cases a trial by jury.
- To have the public defender represent you if you cannot afford an attorney.
- All of these rights will be more fully explained by the Judge when you appear in Court.
Your Constitutional Rights as a Defendant
- To plead "guilty" or "not guilty" to any violation with which you have been charged.
- To enter a plea of "no contest" and allow the Judge to make a finding of "guilty" or "not guilty" from the facts in your case.
- To have your own attorney or, in certain cases, the public defender represent you.
- To be granted a continuance to allow you to get an attorney and prepare a proper defense.
- To demand a jury trial in certain cases by filing a written jury demand.
- To subpoena witnesses to testify for or on your behalf. This subpoena requires them to appear at trial.
- To testify or not to testify on your own behalf. You alone make this decision. No one can require you to testify.
When your case is called in court YOU will be required to enter one of the following pleas:
- If you feel you are guilty. If you enter a plea of guilty the matter will be disposed of immediately.
- NOT GUILTY
- If you feel you are not guilty or if you are in doubt. If you enter a plea of not guilty your case will then be continued to a later date for trial or other disposition.
- NO CONTEST
- Generally used in accident cases. You give up the hearsay rule and allow the Court to make a finding of "guilty" or "not guilty" from the papers in your case and any comment you might have.
- Remember, it is our desire that you fully understand your rights and our procedures. If you have any questions about your case, please let us know and we will clear it up for you before we proceed.