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Right to know the charges against you.
Right to have an attorney for all court proceedings; right to represent yourself, although the court may question you about the dangers and disadvantages; and the right to a continuance and delay to obtain counsel or prepare your defense.
Right to be released on reasonable bail, although traffic court typically grants release on your own recognizance and you promise to appear to court when ordered. Note that failing to appear when ordered may results in a criminal charge, civil fees, and administrative consequences.
Right to a speedy trial, including having a court trial within forty-five days from your not guilty plea; unless there is good cause to continue the matter, or you waive time and you give up your right to have the trial heard within the time period, and then the trial must start within 10 days of the trial date. A violation of your speedy trial right creates your right to have the charges dismissed.
Right to Testify at Trial, or to Remain Silent.
Other Rights at Trial to have an attorney present, subpoena witnesses and evidence, confront witnesses, be heard by a judge or a commissioner, and appeal a final judgement or order affecting your rights. Note that there is no righ to a jury trial for an infraction.
Right to know the maximum penalty upon conviction, which is usually $250 fine (plus penalty fees for a total of about $1,200).
Right to Enter a Plea of Not Guilty or Guilty (or No Contest if the court approves) or once in jeapordy or former judgment or not guilty by reason of insanity. Denying the charges results a trial. Pleading guilty or no contest results in conviction and sentencing and gives up your constitutional rights listed above.
This list is not exhaustive and many other laws may apply to a certain case or person, whether regarding rights, options, exceptions, etc. This is not comprehensive legal advice. This is not instructions on how to represent yourself in court.
We recommend hiring an Attorney for constesting legal issues. However, only you can make that decision for yourself, including doing your own analysis of what is important to you. Afterall, it is your case. If you need us, we are here to serve.
As an American, getting an infraction Traffic Ticket should immediately raise questions for you about your rights. Here is a list of some highlights for infraction traffic tickets in traffic court.
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