Notify the Court
Please take note that the court date mentioned on the summons is not a trial date, it is merely the date in which the summons must be answered, either by payment or a personal appearance in court. If a person has been charged with an offense to which he/she wishes to plead "not guilty" or wishes to speak to the municipal prosecutor, it is necessary to call the court to schedule a court date.
Once you have notified the Court of your intent to plead not guilty you will be scheduled for "case management". You will be notified of the hearing date via regular mail, therefore, please make sure to advise the court of any address changes. When you appear in court for case management you will be able to speak to the prosecutor and he will advise you of a possible plea agreement.
The prosecutor does not have to offer an agreement or if he/she does you do not have to accept it. If this occurs the Judge will then advise you of your rights and penalties that may be imposed for your violation and the case will be rescheduled for trial via mail. Please take note that on your trial date you should bring any witnesses or documentation that you will rely on to present your defense.
Defendants who reside out-of-state may request to defend themselves by affidavit. The defense by affidavit is used only for traffic and ordinance violations that do not carry penalties of great consequence. A telephone call to the court will be necessary to determine whether a person is able to dispose of the matter in this fashion.
Once a determination has been made that an affidavit is appropriate, the court will forward the necessary form to the defendant. The form is a simple form on which the defendant explains the circumstances surrounding the offense and returns the notarized document to the court prior to the scheduled court date. A person who uses this approach waives his/her right to appear in court and cross-examine any witnesses. The judge will make his decision based on the information provided by the defendant and the complaining witness. The defendant will be notified by mail as to the Judge’s ruling.