Your sentence or punishment could be any one of the following, or some combination of the following:
- a fine and court costs; or
- probation, and/or a suspended sentence (which means going to jail only if you violate the rules of your probation); and/or community service; and/or, if necessary, restitution to the victim; or
- an active sentence, which means that you are imprisoned for a specific amount of time based on the sentence imposed by the judge.
- there may be other consequences that are not discussed in court and that are not directly related to a conviction but can impact such things as public housing benefits, driver's license, deportation if you are not a United States citizen, the ability to obtain student loans, etc.
Part 2: Arraignment or First Appearance in Court
- Can court staff help me?
- What should I wear to court?
- Where should I go when I arrive at the court building?
- What should I do when I enter the arraignment courtroom?
- What conduct is expected in the courtroom?
- Who are the people in the courtroom?
- What will happen at my arraignment?
- What is bail (or bond)?
- When can I first talk to my court appointed lawyer?
- Can I dispose of my case at arraignment?
- What happens when I talk to the prosecutor (during a break in my court appearance) about resolving my case?
- Can my case be continued?
- What could my punishment be?
- What happens if I am charged with a crime but I am not a United States citizen?
- What is the difference between civil infractions, misdemeanors and felonies?
- What happens if my case is not resolved at arraignment?
- What should I do before I leave court?
- Part 3: Pre-Trial, Trial and Verdict
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