Your Rights In Court
This may be the first time you have appeared in court, and the purpose of this section is to inform you of your rights and of official Court procedure. The Court usually convenes on Wednesdays to accept the pleas of those who have been arrested or cited and charged with committing misdemeanor violations within the jurisdiction of the Town of Marana. This session is referred to as your Arraignment. You have already received a copy of the complaint(s) filed against you, therefore when your name is called, you are to come forward and stand before the bench.
The Judge will read the charge(s) against you, and you will be asked to enter one of three pleas. They are as follows:
- Not Guilty: This plea is your denial of guilt. Should you enter this plea, your case will be reset to a later date for a trial or pre-trial.
- Guilty: This plea would be a complete admission of guilt to the charges made against you. Should you enter this plea, and it is accepted, you may be permitted to make a statement prior to sentencing. In most cases, sentencing will occur at the same time that you enter your plea of guilty.
- No Contest: This plea is not an admission of guilt, but rather is an acknowledgement of the facts alleged in the complaint. This plea will result in your being sentenced in the same manner as if you entered a plea of guilty.
If you refuse to enter any of the above pleas, the Court will enter a plea of Not Guilty on your behalf and your case will be set for pre-trial or trial.
At any time that you enter a plea of Guilty or No Contest to the charges made against you, the Court must inform you that you have the following rights and are waiving such rights by entering one of these pleas.
- The right to know and understand the charge(s) against you, and the maximum penalties for the charged offense(s). (To assist you, the maximum penalties are mentioned in greater detail at the end of this section).
- The right to counsel and to be represented by counsel at all critical stages of these proceedings, even if you intend to plead Guilty.
- The right to a reasonable continuance in order to obtain counsel.
- The right to have counsel assigned to you at a reduced cost or no cost if you are indigent and if jail is a possible sentence. You may be required to fill out an application for court appointed counsel to determine if you qualify for an attorney.
- The right to trial by jury or trial by Judge.
- The right to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The right to confront witnesses against you.
- The right to present evidence and witnesses on your own behalf and to have the State compel witnesses of your choosing to appear and testify.
NOTE: IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF A TRAFFIC VIOLATION, A RECORD OF THE CONVICTION WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL BECOME PART OF YOUR DRIVING RECORD. THAT AGENCY MAY THEN REQUIRE YOU TO COMPLETE A TESTING OR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM OF THEIR CHOOSING. A CONVICTION OF ANY MISDEMEANOR WILL RESULT IN A CRIMINAL RECORD AND MAY JEOPARDIZE YOUR ABILITY TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT OR NATURALIZATION. PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR MORE INFORMATION.