The law requires you to appear in court on your case. If you were issued a citation, your appearance date is noted on the citation. If you have been released on bond, your appearance date is set on the bond. If you request a continuance (read the specific section in the pamphlet on continuances), the court will notify you of your new appearance date. You or your attorney may appear in person in open court, by mail, or you may deliver your plea in person to the court. (Juveniles and minors have a separate set of rules for their appearance. Please read the specific section on juveniles in this pamphlet).
Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you waive a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider when setting your fine, but the judge is not required to reduce your fine. Before pleading guilty or no contest you will want to read the section on pleas. If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule a jury trial unless you waive that right. If you do, the trial will be before the judge. When you make your appearance by mail, the court must receive your plea before your scheduled appearance date. If you plead guilty or no contest, you must include a waiver of jury trial. If you plead not guilty, the court will notify you of the date of your trial