A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the court that you deny guilt and that the state must prove its charges against you. If you plead not guilty, your case will be scheduled for the next available pre-trial hearing. You will need to decide whether you want a trial by a judge, or a trial by a jury, six members of your peers.You will also need to decide whether to retain an attorney to represent you at trial. Only you or a licensed attorney may defend a case in court. The court does not provide a court appointed attorney.
If you choose to defend yourself, the section on Trials will help you to understand trial procedure. All proceedings will be conducted according to the rules of criminal procedure and the rules of evidence. Please be advised that the Decatur Municipal Court is a Court of Record.
By pleading guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense for your actions. A guilty plea will be considered a conviction and recorded as such on your criminal and/or driving record.
Because the fines and costs vary based on the charged offense, it is necessary to call the court at
940-393-0220 to determine the exact amount due. A receipt for your payment will be provided to you if a self-addressed stamped envelope is enclosed with your payment.
Nolo Contendere/No Contest
A plea of nolo contendere, also known as no contest, means that you do not wish to contest. Nolo contendere has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
If you wish to plea nolo contendere (no contest), you may be eligible for Deferred Disposition or a Driving Safety Course to keep an offense off your driving record. You will be responsible for the fees and costs applicable.
Defendants who plead guilty or nolo contendere must also waive the right to a jury trial in writing, when submitting their plea in person or by mail.