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Hearing types

The Municipal Court has a variety of court hearings that are scheduled on a daily basis. The different types of hearing most commonly scheduled in Municipal Court are;

Arraignments

These are generally first-come, first serve for an initial appearance and plea on a traffic or criminal violation. Other reasons for appearance at Arraignment hearings might be to request an extension to pay, request a payment plan, request drivers license clearances, etc.

Pre-trials

These hearings are normally scheduled after a first appearance at Arraignments has been made and a Not Guilty plea entered. It is a date set up for the Prosecution (usually an LCPD officer) and the Defendant (the person charged with a violation) to meet and negotiate any pre-trial matters such as a plea bargain, dismissal for proof, or discovery matters prior to trial.

Trials

These hearings are formal bench trials that are scheduled for a specific date and time for the Judge to take testimony, hear & review evidence on both sides of a case in order to make a ruling as to the guilt or innocence of a person charged with a violation of municipal law. At trial both sides are expected to present their case. Both sides will be noticed by the Court to appear in order to testify as well as any witnesses requested.

Sentencing hearings

This occurs when a person has been found or pled Guilty and the Judge has ordered a pre-sentence evaluation. After the evaluation a Sentencing hearing is scheduled and the Judge reviews the evaluation report and takes it into consideration for sentencing. At this hearing is when fines and/or jail is imposed by the Judge. If the Judge does not order a pre-sentence evaluation, sentencing normally takes place immediately following any of the other hearings listed above.