If you were issued a citation, your appearance date is printed above the signature line of the citation. If you were released on bond, your appearance date is set on the bond. If you request a continuance (read the specific Continuances page), the Court will notify you of your new appearance date. You may appear in person in open court (Minors/Juveniles have a separate set of rules for their appearance). You also have the right to hire an attorney to represent you.
Your first appearance is to determine your plea. If you make your appearance by mail, the Court must receive your plea before your scheduled appearance date. Before pleading guilty or no contest, read the section titled "Pleas." If you plead guilty or no contest, you waive a jury trial. If you waive a jury trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), you may talk to the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider when setting your fine, but the judge is not required to reduce your fine. If you plead not guilty, the Court will schedule a pre-trial hearing.
You are entitled to a jury trial unless you waive that right. If you waive a trial by jury, the judge will hear your case.