Those of you who are here in Court today or will be in court have been or may be charged with an offense against the Ordinances of the Village of Evendale. The Court wants you to be aware of your basic rights and let you know that you are entitled to be informed of the following:
- The nature of the charges filed against you; to read the Affidavit or Complaint filed against you; and if you do not understand the nature of the charges, to have them explained to you.
- You have the right to know the identity of the Complainant.
- You have the right to be represented by Counsel.
- You have the right to a reasonable continuance in the proceedings to seek Counsel.
- You have the right to a trial by jury in certain cases. In those cases, if you wish to have your case heard in the Evendale Mayor’s Court, you will be asked to sign a jury waiver form. If you do not give up your right to a jury trial, in writing, your case will be transferred to the Hamilton County Municipal Court in downtown Cincinnati. You should definitely have an attorney to try your case to a jury.
You will be asked to enter one of three pleas: GUILTY, NOT GUILTY OR NO CONTEST.
A plea of “guilty” is a complete admission of your guilt.
A plea of “no contest” is not technically an admission of guilt to the offense, but is an admission of the facts alleged in the complaint or affidavit, and you are leaving it up to the Court to decide your guilt or innocence based on those facts. You should realize that in almost every case, a plea of “no contest” will result in a guilty finding.
A plea of “not guilty” calls for a trial, and a trial that the Village of Evendale must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the offense. Please do not hesitate to plead “not guilty” if you feel that you are innocent of the charge or if you dispute the facts stated in the complaint or traffic citation. If you plead “guilty” your case may be tried tonight, but will be heard only after all uncontested matters have been concluded.
If you plead “guilty” or “no contest”, a short statement of the facts will be read to the Court. If you do not dispute the essential elements of the offense, the Court will enter a guilty finding. You may then tell the Court anything which you feel may explain the circumstances or lessen the sentence of this Court. If a fine, court costs or incarceration is imposed, you are expected to make arrangements for payment or serving time tonight.
When your case is called, the defendant, all interested parties and any witnesses should promptly step forward. Any remarks which you care to make should be addressed to the Magistrate. You need not make any remarks at any point during the proceedings, and any statements you do make may be used against you. Finally, if you are convicted of a traffic offense, you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility (insurance) in compliance with Ohio Law and a record of your conviction will be sent to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and will become a part of your driving record.
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