What happens at a trial?

All trials, except non-traffic juvenile cases, are public trials. You are presumed innocent and will be convicted only if the evidence is clear, convincing, and satisfactory that you committed the violation with which you have been charged.

This is a formal recorded proceeding where the Prosecutor and the Defendant have the opportunity to present their evidence before the Municipal Judge. Because the burden of proof is upon the municipality, they will present their evidence first. The prosecution will produce its witnesses to testify as to the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violation and may introduce documentary evidence. You (or your attorney) will be permitted to cross-examine each witness that testifies. Cross-examine means to ask questions of the witness, not make statements to the witness.

After the prosecution has introduced all of its evidence, you (or your attorney) will then have the opportunity to testify on your own behalf, call witnesses and present any evidence you have. The prosecution will be permitted to cross-examine each witness that testifies.

When you and the municipality have completed your cases, each will be given the opportunity to summarize, by brief argument, their respective cases to the Court. Thereafter, the Court will decide, based upon the testimony, the admissible evidence and the law, whether to find you guilty or not guilty. This judgment is usually decided immediately following the trial.

If the Court finds you not guilty, you will be discharged and the complaint against you will be dismissed.

If you are found guilty, the extent of the penalty is dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the violation and your past record.

Show All Answers

1. What happens at a trial?
2. What should I do to prepare for a trial?
3. Will I have to pay more than the amount on the citation if I am found guilty?
4. If I change my mind, can I settle my case before the trial?
5. What if I need a postponement?
6. If I am found guilty, can I appeal?
7. If I do not appear, what will happen?