A Guilty Plea
If you plead guilty, you are admitting to the Judge that you have committed the act(s) that you were charged with and that you have no defense for your act(s). The Judge may ask you questions. The Judge will then assess a fine, court costs and/or what sentence you must serve. Before you plead guilty, you have the right to ask the Judge if you will go to jail.
A Guilty Plea with an Explanation
This plea has the same effect as a plea of guilty, but says that you would like to explain to the Judge mitigating circumstances with respect to the punishment. After your explanation, the Judge will assess a fine, court costs and/or what sentence you must serve after taking into consideration the seriousness of the offense and any explanation by you.
You cannot plead guilty and then in your explanation to the Judge say that you did not violate the law. Any explanation that you offer will only affect the penalty.
When you plead guilty, you will be giving up the following rights: To hire an attorney to represent you; to have a trial before a court; to call witnesses to testify for you; to testify for yourself; to cross-examine any witness that the City may call; and the right to a new trial in front of a different Judge.
A Not Guilty Plea
- Did not do what you are accused of doing,
- Are not sure what you are accused of is a violation of the law, or
- Are asking for more time to retain counsel, find witnesses of your own or otherwise be more prepared,
Plead not guilty, the Judge will set a new court date.