Court Appearances - General
Scheduled Court Sessions
The El Mirage City Court will schedule your court session(s).
Entering an Appearance
After receiving a citation, you will be given a court date at which you must appear at the court in writing or in person. Telephone calls are not an appearance.
Failure to Appear
Failure to appear or answer the citation on your scheduled court date may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest (for criminal charges), and your license to drive being suspended (civil and criminal charges).
Be advised that you are subject to arrest by any agency that confirms the warrant for your arrest. An arrest warrant will remain active until the fines and fees have been paid or a bond has been posted.
If you have any questions, please contact the El Mirage City Court at: 623-815-2186.
At your first appearance (arraignment), the Judge will ask you to enter a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest.
By pleading guilty, you admit that you committed the act(s) charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense for your actions. The Judge will ask you a series of questions to make sure that you are entering your plea voluntarily. The Judge will also decide what your punishment will be. If there is a victim in your case, or if you are charged with a DUI, your sentence will be imposed at another date.
Because the punishment may vary based on the offense(s) charged, the Judge cannot tell you in advance what your punishment will be. Some charges carry mandatory minimum jail time and/or fines, and the Judge will advise you of those, but your actual sentence may be higher.
A guilty plea will be considered a conviction and recorded as such on your criminal/or driving record.
A plea of no contest, simply means that you do not wish to contest the State's charge(s) against you. No Contest has the same legal effect as a guilty plea, and the procedures will be the same.
A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt and that the State must prove its charges against you. If you plead not guilty your case will be scheduled for the next available pre-trial conference. You will need to decide whether to hire an attorney to represent you at trial. Only you or a licensed attorney may defend your case in court. In certain criminal cases, the Court may appoint an attorney to represent you.
At the pretrial conference, you (and your attorney, if you have one), will meet with the prosecutor to discuss the case and go over the police reports, if any. The prosecutor is not your attorney, and may not give you legal advice. However, the prosecutor may make an offer to you to resolve the case, but he is not required to do so. You may accept or reject the plea offer. If you accept the plea offer, you will then change your plea before the judge. (See Guilty Pleas, above). If you do not accept the offer, you may either have the case set for trial, or plead guilty directly to the Court without the restrictions of the prosecutor’s plea offer.
At your first hearing (your arraignment), the Judge will ask you to enter a plea of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible.”
A plea of Responsible means that you are accepting responsibility for committing the violation(s) and agree to pay a fine. You will not have a trial, although you will have a chance to explain your actions to the Court. The Court will impose a fine pursuant to the Bond Schedule.
A plea of Not Responsible means that you are denying the charge(s) against you. Your case will be set for a civil traffic hearing at a future date, at which you and the Police Officer will each tell your side of the story. The Judge will listen to all of the evidence from both sides, and then decide whether you violated the law.