Your Rights as a Defendant

  • The right to be represented by an attorney. If indigent and facing the possibility of jail, a public defender may be appointed. 

  • The right to a reasonable continuance of your case for cause. Requests for a continuance can be made in person, by email, fax or over the telephone prior to your court date. 

  • The right to a full explanation of the charges against you. 

  • The right to remain silent. Any statement may be used against you. 

  • The right to make an oral explanation upon a plea of guilty or if found guilty.

  • The right to a trial by the judge or by a jury, if eligible. 

  • The right to a "Presumption of Innocence." Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

  • The right to present witnesses and the right to have your witnesses subpoenaed.

  • The right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses.

  • The right to testify or not to testify, as you desire.

  • The right to appeal to a higher court. If you plead guilty, you waive your right to appeal.


The maximum penalty that can be imposed for any ordinance violation in the city of Lakewood is a $2,650 fine or 364 days in jail, or a combination of both.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, a guilty plea or conviction may affect your immigration status.

Your duties toward the court are as follows:

  • To appear properly attired and to maintain the decorum and dignity of the court.

  • To appear promptly at the date and time of any hearing scheduled by this court.

  • To remain seated and remain quiet until your case is called.

  • To turn off all pagers and cell phones.

  • To refrain from chewing gum or drinking beverages in the courtroom or nearby area.