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You must enter a plea on the back of the ticket, date it, sign it and mail the ticket with your check or money order to the Municipal Court. You must also pay the court costs for your case, even if you do not have to appear in Municipal Court. If the back of your ticket says “Must Appear” or “MA”, you cannot pay in advance. You must appear in Court on your arraignment date. If you have appeared in Court, and the Judge imposes a fine and court costs in your case, the Judge will set a payment deadline or payment plan. If you cannot make a payment, you must appear on the payment date to explain to the Judge why you could not pay. If you fail to do so, the Judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. There is no grace period.
Your “plea” may follow a “plea negotiation” with the City Prosecutor, either on your own or through your attorney. The City Prosecutor is not required to conduct plea negotiations with you. If you and the prosecutor make a plea agreement, you promise to enter a plea of guilty or no contest in exchange for the City Prosecutor requesting a specific punishment. The Judge is not bound by your plea agreement.