A defendant will be arraigned as part of the initial court hearing on the charge. The arraignment is normally a defendant’s first court appearance.
At the hearing, the judge informs the defendant of the charge and makes sure the defendant understands his/her constitutional rights as explained at the beginning of the court session. The defendant is then asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the offense, or if they wish to speak with an attorney before entering a plea.
If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the offense as charged. If you plead not guilty, you are denying that you committed the violation or may have a defense to the charge. No constitutional rights are waived unless expressly waived by the defendant.
The case will then be set for a pretrial conference. At this conference, all parties must be present. Plea agreements concerning the case may be made at these hearings. If the case goes forward, the next hearing will be either a bench or jury trial.
If the defendant waives his/her right to a jury trial, the next hearing will be bench trial where the judge will hear testimony and decide the case. If the defendant requests a jury trial, the case is determined by a jury of up to six citizens from the community. Defendants are presumed innocent while the plaintiff, the City of Beaverton, must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Failure to Appear
Failure to appear for any of these hearings may result in a warrant for your arrest.