What to Expect
Your first visit to the court will be for an arraignment. Court is held every Wednesday in two sessions. You will either be summoned to appear at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. Check-in for the 4 p.m. session begins at 3:30 p.m.
You are required to check in with the courtroom assistant in the courtroom located in City Hall. After you enter the building, you will be required to pass through security, including a metal detector, and check in at the Court window. At check-in, you will be provided an Advisement of Rights form to complete and a number that will be called by the Village Prosecuting Attorney. The numbers are provided on a first come first served basis. Complete the form and wait for your number to be called in the courtroom.
The Village prosecuting attorney will call numbers in order, starting just prior to the start of the court session. At this time the village prosecuting attorney will review your driving record and/or criminal history and may offer a reduction of points in exchange for pleading guilty to the lesser charge. This is called a plea bargain. A plea bargain offer is based on your driving record, criminal history, and information contained in the officer's notes or accident report. You will be able to take advantage of this offer by appearing before the judge in court. It is solely the prosecuting attorney's discretion to offer you a plea bargain or not; he or she is not required to offer a plea bargain. The Village prosecuting attorney also has the right not to offer a plea bargain on a general ordinance violation; this decision may be based on the reports provided to the Village prosecuting attorney, prior criminal history, or other evidence in the case.
In your meeting with the Village prosecuting attorney, you will have the option of accepting a plea bargain if one is offered, pleading guilty to your charges or pleading not guilty. Depending on the charge involved, the Village prosecuting attorney may offer you the option of setting a case for trial, attendance at defensive driving school, substance abuse class, petty theft class, or community service.
Upon a plea of not guilty to a charge, your case will need to be set for trial. If your charge provides the option of pleading "not guilty" and you have scheduled a trial, you may then "discover" or view the evidence that will be introduced at trial, including the offense report and witness list. Information about this process will be provided to you by the Judge once you appear in the courtroom.
Upon entry of a plea of guilty or no contest, you will be advised of the penalty to be imposed. Once you complete your meeting with the Village prosecuting attorney and state your plea, you will be asked to go to the courtroom and wait for the judge to call your name.
Once you are in the courtroom, you will wait for the judge to call your case. If you plead guilty, you will be advised by the judge of the penalties that will be assessed. The judge may assess a fine, sentence you to community service, impose a jail sentence, or any combination of these penalties.
Trial & Arraignment
If you plead not guilty, you will be advised of your right to a trial and may be given an option for a trial to the court or a jury trial (only certain violations qualify for a jury trial). At this time, your case will be set for trial and the judge will provide you with a date and time to appear for your trial. You will also be advised of your responsibilities for the trial proceedings. Trials are usually held about five weeks after the arraignment date.
Once your arraignment is complete you will be provided paperwork outlining the disposition or ruling of your case. If you were assessed any fines you will be asked to proceed back out to the court clerk counter to pay your fines/fees. If you have scheduled a trial, you may at this time request copies of the police report and officer’s notes for your trial preparation.