Judgments vs. Verdicts
If a judge tries the case, the judge’s decision is called a judgment. If a jury tries the case, the jury’s decision is called a verdict. In determining a defendant’s guilt or innocence, the judge or jury can consider only the testimony of witnesses and any evidence properly admitted during the trial. If you are found guilty by either judge or jury, the penalty will be announced at that time. Unless you plan to appeal your case, you should be prepared to pay the fine and court costs at this time.
Appealing judgements or verdicts
If you are found guilty, and are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, you have the right to appeal your case. You must file your appeal and bond within ten days after the trial date when you were convicted.
Requesting a continuance after a trial date has been set.
If you need a continuance for your trial, you must make the request or “Motion” in writing, state your reasons for the continuance, and submit your motion to the court prior to your court date. The judge will make a decision whether or not to grant the motion. You may request a continuance for the following reasons:
- A religious holy day where the tenets of your religious organization prohibit members from participating in secular activities such as court proceedings (you must file an affidavit with the court stating this information);
- A witness is unable to testify in your case, after you have exercised due diligence to secure the witness’ presence at trial;
- You feel it is necessary in order to receive a fair trial;
- Good Cause;
- Any other reason provided by law.
Juvinile (under the age of (17) and parent and/or legal gaurdian requirements?
The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over juveniles (16 year old or younger) charged with most Class C misdemeanor offenses. All juveniles are required to appear in open court for all proceedings in their cases and the parent of the juvenile defendant is required to be present in court with his or her child. Failure of a parent or legal guardian to appear with a juvenile constitutes a separate misdemeanor offense by the parent, and juveniles who fail to appear in court may have an additional charge of failure to appear filed against them. Juveniles who fail to appear or who fail to pay their fine(s) will be reported to the Department of Public Safety, who will suspend their drivers’ license. If they do not have a driver’s license, they will not be able to obtain one until they appear in court.