Under our system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. Consider each plea carefully before making a decision. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest, you should be prepared to pay the forfeitures and court costs. The court will inform you regarding forfeiture payment requirements.
Plea of Guilty
By entering a plea of guilty, you are saying that all of the circumstances and conditions, which appear on the traffic citation or complaint, are correct, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act. Upon a plea of guilty, the Court will review the Officer's report and any other relevant material to determine the degree of seriousness of the violation and your past record. You will be given an opportunity to inform the Court about extenuating circumstances, if any, surrounding the charge. The Court will then impose a penalty in accordance with the law.
Pleas or Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of no contest means you do not contest the charge against you. The Court will treat the plea the same as a plea of guilty. By pleading no contest, you will be admitting to the violation but not admitting to your civil liability, if any, arising out of the incident for use in other litigation, which should be expected where personal injury or property damage is involved.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means you are informing the court that you deny guilt or that you have a defense in your case, and that the Village must prove what it has charged against you. You will need to decide whether or not to hire an attorney to represent you. You may represent yourself. If you represent yourself, the section on Trials will help you to understand Trial procedure. You will now be scheduled for a pretrial conference with the Village Attorney and the Municipal Court Clerk will give you a written notice of this next appearance. Please note that your appearance at the pretrial conference is MANDATORY.