Court Roles

Role of the Judge

  • Take and accept pleas of guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) or not guilty.
  • Arraign defendants (a procedure in which the judge identifies the defendant and requests a plea).
  • Conduct pre-trial, trial and jury hearings.
  • Enter judgments.
  • Set the terms and conditions of deferred dispositions, payment of fines and fees, and other sentences.
  • Issue arrest warrants for defendants whose cases are filed in municipal court.

Role of the Clerks

  • Carry out the orders of the judge and the procedures and policies mandated by the state or other authority.
  • Prohibited by law to give any legal advice or interpret the law for you, as they are not attorneys
  • May not change the court's orders or make exceptions to the court's rules for any individual
  • Collection of fines and fees and maintaining records.
  • Responsible for preparation of processes (citation processing, warrants, judgments, summons, subpoenas, orders, etc).
  • Office management.
  • Financial management, maintaining accounting records and budget preparation.
  • Collection of data for timely submission of state reports.
  • Coordination of arraignment, pre-trial and trial processes.

Role of the Prosecutor

  • To see that justice is served.
  • The prosecutor is the attorney for the City and the State.
  • The prosecutor is not your attorney; he or she only represents the City and State.
  • You have the right not to speak to the prosecutor.
  • If you choose to speak to the prosecutor be aware that any statement you make may be used against you should you choose to proceed to trial.