Hearing Types and Plea Descriptions

Arraignment Hearing
This serves as the first opportunity for the Defendant to see someone about his/her case. At this time, the Defendant will be allowed to enter a plea to the charges. All Defendants are advised of their rights to have an Attorney represent them, or they may choose to represent themselves. The right to representation by an Attorney may be used at any time during the process and at any hearings.

If a Defendant pleads not guilty at his/her Arraignment, a later date will be set for the trial. On Trial Night, the Prosecutor will present any evidence and call any witnesses to prove the case. The Defendant will then have an opportunity to present his/her own evidence and witnesses to prove that he/she is not guilty. All Defendants have the right to be represented by an Attorney at this and any subsequent hearings.

Guilty Plea
The plea of guilty is a complete admission of the Defendant’s guilt.

No Contest Plea
The plea of No Contest is not an admission of guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the information or complaint, and such a plea of admission will not be used against the Defendant in any subsequent civil or criminal proceedings.

Not Guilty Plea
The plea of Not Guilty is a denial of legal guilt, and the case will be set for trial on a later date.