If you feel you are Not Guilty of the offense you have been charged with, you have the right to a trial. You must enter a plea of Not Guilty to contest the charge that has been filed against you.
Once your plea of Not Guilty has been received by the court you will be set up to attend a mandatory pre-trial hearing. The pre-trial hearing is for the city prosecutor and the defendant to have an opportunity to discuss available options to resolve the case. If the case is unresolved after the pre-trial hearing, you have the right to a trial. Your case will be set for a Jury Trial unless you waive that right and request a trial be for the Judge (Bench Trial). Your trial will not be held the same date as the initial pre-trial hearing. Your trial will be scheduled for a future date, and you will be given written notice of the date and time to appear.
If you have missed your initial appearance date and your case is in active warrant status, you must appear in person to enter your plea of Not Guilty and you may be required to post a bond before the warrant will be removed and a court date assigned. (See Warrants & Bonds for more information on Bonds).