The law requires you to appear in court on your case. If you were issued a citation, your appearance date is 11 days from the issuance of the citation.
Issuing a Plea
You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, or you may deliver your plea in person to the court (juveniles have a separate set of rules (PDF) for their appearances). Your first appearance is to determine your plea.
Guilty or No Contest Pleas
If you waive a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider. Before pleading guilty or no contest you will want to read the section on pleas.
Not Guilty Plea
If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a pretrial hearing, at which time any motions may be filed before the court. You will also have an opportunity to meet with the prosecutor and will receive a copy of the sworn complaint filed against you. If you still wish to proceed to trial after the pretrial hearing, the court will schedule a jury trial, unless you waive that right. If you waive the right to a jury trial, the trial will be set before the Municipal Court Judge.
Appearance by Mail
When you make your appearance by mail, the court must receive your plea before your scheduled appearance date.
If you plead guilty or no contest, you must include a waiver of jury trial.
If you plead not guilty, the court will notify you of the date of your pretrial hearing.