A plea of not guilty means the defendant informs the court that they deny guilt and that the State must prove its charges. For a plea of not guilty, a case will be scheduled for the next available trial date.
The defendant must decide whether to employ an attorney for trial representation. Only the defendant or a licensed attorney may defend a case in court.
For defendants who represent themselves, please be advised that the court is a court of record. All proceedings are conducted according to the rules of criminal procedures and the rules of evidence.
The court staff, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, and judge cannot act as attorney by providing legal advice or legal assistance in the presentation of the case.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Under the American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. As in a criminal trial, the State is required to prove the guilt of the defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt”.