Initial Appearance

The Initial Appearance is the date shown on the face of the citation. If you have not paid your ticket on or before the initial appearance date, you must come to court. Failure to appear may result, among other consequences, in a default conviction being entered against you.

If you come to court for your initial appearance, you should print your name on the sign-up sheet located just outside the courtroom. When court begins, Judge Weigel will spend a few minutes explaining how court works, and then each case will be individually called, usually in the order in which people signed in. The judge will read the charge on the citation and ask how you wish to plead. You may plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty:

Plea Options
Guilty
If you plead guilty, you should expect to be found guilty. The judge may review your driving record, criminal record, police report or other information. You will be given an opportunity to make a statement. A sentence may be imposed, and may include an order that you pay a forfeiture within a certain period of time and other penalties, depending upon the type of violation.

No Contest
If you plead no contest, you are choosing not to contest the charge. A no contest plea cannot be used against you for liability purposes in other civil proceedings. Since you are not contesting the charge, you should expect to be found guilty. The judge may review your driving record, criminal record, police report or other information. You will be given an opportunity to make a statement. A sentence may be imposed, and may include an order that you pay a forfeiture within a certain period of time and other penalties, depending upon the type of violation.

Not Guilty
You may plead not guilty in person, or by mail. A mailed plea must be received by the court date, and must clearly list your name, current address and citation(s). If you plead not guilty, your case will be scheduled for a mandatory meeting between you and the city prosecutor at what is called a "pre-trial conference" to discuss the possibility of a settlement. If a proposed resolution is reached, it will be presented to Judge Weigel by letter from the city prosecutor. Judge Weigel is free to accept or reject the proposal. If you and the city prosecutor cannot come to an agreement, your case will be scheduled for a trial.