Court Appearances

When to Appear

The law requires you to appear in court on your case. If you were issued a citation, your appearance date is within 28 days from the issuance of the citation. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, or you may deliver your plea in person to the court.

What to Expect

Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you waive your right to a jury trial and plead guilty or no contest, you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances for the judge to consider when setting the fine.

If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a pre-trial conference. If 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.

Juvenile Appearances

Any person under the age of 17 is considered a juvenile. All juveniles are required to appear in open court, with a parent or legal guardian, to enter their plea before the judge. The juvenile and parent will be notified of a specific date and time to appear before the judge.

Failure to Appear or Disobeying Court Orders

  • Failing to appear as ordered may have an additional violation of Failure To Appear.
  • Failing to appear or failing to pay the fine will be reported to the Department of Public Safety for suspension or denial of a driver’s license.
  • Disobeying a court order may result in the Court ordering the Department of Public Safety to suspend or deny issuance of a driver’s license or finding the juvenile in contempt and assessing a fine up to $500.00. For non-traffic violations, the Court may refer the case to juvenile court for contempt.
  • Juveniles who are now 17 who failed to appear at the date and time stated on the summons may, after careful consideration and deemed accountable by the judge, have a warrant issued for their arrest.

Minor Appearances

  • Any person age 17 to 21 is considered a minor.
  • If you are charged with an alcohol-related offense, you are required to appear in open court.
  • If you are charged with a tobacco-related offense and are 21 years old, you are required to appear in open court.
  • Failure to appear in court as required may result in an additional offense of Failure to Appear and a warrant being issued for your arrest.
  • All other minors are considered and handled as adult cases.