If you do not have a lawyer and you think you need the help of one, you should contact one BEFORE going to court.
You may also choose to proceed without a lawyer and represent yourself. You have the right to bring witnesses to the trial. If you need the court to help you bring witnesses, the court can issue them subpoenas, but ONLY after you provide the court the names and addresses of these people.
At the trial, the City Prosecutor will first present evidence against you. You may confront and question the witnesses for the City. Then you will have a chance to tell your side of the story. The Prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Prosecutor will call witnesses to testify about the facts alleged in the charge(s). When each witness has finished answering the Prosecutor’s questions, you or your attorney will have the right to question the witness. This is called cross-examination.
Cross-examination is not a time when you can testify or argue with the witness. After all the witnesses for the City have testified, you will have an opportunity to present your case. You may testify, and you may call witnesses to testify; however, you are not required to testify. If you do testify, you may also be questioned by the Prosecutor.
After you have presented your case, the Prosecutor has the right to present rebuttal evidence. Rebuttal evidence is evidence that explains or denies your evidence.
After all witnesses have testified, each side may give a closing argument.
The Judge must then decide if you are guilty or not guilty.
If you are found guilty, the Judge will assess a punishment, considering the seriousness of the offense(s) and any explanation offered by you during your evidence.
If the Judge finds you not guilty, you are free to go.