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Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response Information

Public access to the San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Grover Beach courthouses is limited to matters on the calendar that day.

All other business with the Court is currently being done remotely.

Face coverings and social distancing are required in all San Luis Obispo County courthouses.

Click here for more information on this announcement and other COVID-19 related information.

 

Appearing in Court

How Do I Set a Court Date

Your appearance date, place, and time are indicated on your copy of the citation, and on your courtesy bail notice. (The officer who issued your citation will not be present.)

Shorts, tank tops, bare feet, and other inappropriate attire are not allowed in the courtroom.

Appearing in Court

When you appear in traffic court, the first appearance is for Arraignment, which is when you enter a plea.

The judge will ask that you step before the bench and confirm your understanding of the charges. If you do not understand, the charges and the potential consequences in the event of conviction will be read to you. Thereafter, you are asked which plea you want to enter.

There are several pleas you can enter; the most common are:

Guilty Plea

If you plead guilty you can give the judge an explanation about what happened.

If the judicial officer reduces your fine, he or she can order it be paid immediately, and, considering your prior convictions and any facts in aggravation, can increase the fine over the bail amount.

No Contest Plea

This is the same as a guilty plea except if you are involved in a civil suit (arising from your actions the citation was issued for) - such as a traffic accident - a no contest plea cannot be used against you in a later civil proceeding.

If the judicial officer reduces your fine, he or she can order it be paid immediately, and, considering your prior convictions and any facts in aggravation, can increase the fine over the bail amount.

Not Guilty Plea

The judge will order your case scheduled for trial to determine your innocence or guilt. You will be notified by mail of your court trial date and time to appear. It is your responsibility to assure that the court does have your correct mailing address and a phone number where you can be contacted.

You may not give an explanation at arraignment since the facts will be covered at your trial.

Appearing in Court on a Failure to Appear

If your case is in a Failure to Appear status, you may contact the court for appearance location, dates and times that you may appear on your case. If you have relevant documentation to show the Traffic Commissioner such as proof of correction, a doctor’s note, proof of incarceration, death certificate, or proof of financial situation, please bring that with you to court.

Conduct During Court Proceedings

During court you are expected to sit quietly and refrain from talking, chewing gum, reading newspapers, or other behavior that would distract the court and others.

Shorts, tank tops, and other inappropriate attire are not permitted and you will not be allowed to appear if so dressed. Hats are not to be worn in the courtroom. No food, drinks, or weapons of any kind are allowed in the courtroom.

Pagers, telephones, and other audible electronic devices are to be turned off or made silent before entering the courtroom.

 

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