Please take note that the court date mentioned on the
summons is not a trial date,
but the date by which the complaint must be answered, either by payment or a personal appearance in court. If a person has been charged with an offense to which he/she wishes to plead "not guilty", or wishes to speak with the municipal prosecutor, it is necessary to call the court to schedule a trial date. Involved persons, i.e., issuing officer/complaining witness, state witnesses, and defendant will be notified of the hearing date by mail.
Defendants who reside out-of-state may request to defend
themselves by affidavit.
The Defense by Affidavit form is used only for traffic and ordinance matters that do not carry penalties of great consequence. A telephone call to the court will be necessary to determine whether a defendant is able to dispose of the matter in this fashion.
Once a determination has been made that an affidavit
is appropriate, the court will forward the necessary form to the defendant. The
Defense by Affidavit is a simple
form on which the defendant explains the circumstances surrounding the offense
and returns the notarized document to the court prior to the scheduled trial date. A defendant who uses this approach waives his/her right to appear and confront all witnesses for the State. The judge will make his decision based on the information provided and the defendant will be advised by mail of the outcome of the case.