Arrested for a criminal case in Phoenix City Court? Our law firm has designed this page to help you through the process. We have former municipal prosecutors and a former police officer on staff. We want to help lower your stress level and demystify the court experience for you. If you have any questions about your case in Phoenix City, you can always call us for a free consultation at 602-989-5000.
The Phoenix Municipal Court is located at 300 W. Washington in Phoenix, Arizona. This court handles a very high volume of misdemeanor cases. On any given day, hundreds of unique criminal matters are heard. This page is designed to help you fully understand how the Phoenix Municipal Court cases begin, and what to expect when you show up. Click on the video below or scroll down to read more about Phoenix Municipal Court.
There are two different ways cases start in Phoenix Municipal Court. First, a police officer can arrest you and hand you a ticket. This citation has the court address and date on it. Second, the court can mail you a summons. Either way, the case has now started.
We advise people to keep all court paperwork in an organized file folder. The court process can be very overwhelming. As your case progresses you will want to have all of your information in one place. You can also take pictures of your court paperwork on your phone. The key is to stay organized and make sure you have all your court dates calendared.
If you do not attend your first court appearance, the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest. This means that if you are pulled over for a traffic offense, you can be arrested and taken to jail. If you did not attend your court date, don’t despair. Fortunately, there usually is a relatively straightforward way to resolve the warrant and get your case back on track. If you failed to appear in court, Phoenix Municipal Court offers a walk in calendar. The purpose of that court is to get people back in the court system.
Before you go to court, we advise that you call (602) 262-6421 and confirm that you have the right date. You will want to make sure you have the right date and time. After you call this number, court staff will advise you of your court date and time. If you missed your court date, they will tell you if there is a warrant for your arrest or if the court has set a bond. It is always a good idea to call ahead before your court. Remember, the court dates are entered by hand. Sometimes staff or police officers make mistakes. It is not uncommon for warrants to issue by mistake.
Because of this, it is always a good idea to take a picture of your ticket or summons. This way, if you lose your physical copy of your ticket you will be able to show the court that you were given a different date than what shows in their system.
Make sure that you arrive at court early. Sometimes a very large number of cases are processed and the security lines can stretch well out the door. Its generally a good idea to arrive at court at least 30 minutes early.
Dress conservatively and appropriately. Make sure that you do not bring any weapons or illicit materials to court with you. You will be searched before you are allowed into the building. When you get through security, there is an information booth in front of the elevators.
It is usually a good idea to double check with them that your courtroom is correct. They will direct you to the elevators and tell you which floor you are going to. The vast majority of initial court appearances occur on the second floor of the building.
Here are some tips to avoid creating problems when you are in court. First or all, hats, torn clothing, gum, cell phones and disruptive children are all prohibited from court. Make sure that you approach court as if you are showing up for a job interview. First impressions can be very important in criminal cases. Secondly, avoid making any loud noises or disruptions in court. Finally, address the judge as, “Your Honor.” Politeness goes a long way in Phoenix City Court.
When you get to the courtroom, look outside by the door and you will see a piece of paper attached to the wall. This paper shows the defendants who have court that day. Again, check to make sure that you are in the right place.
Many people arrive at court and then wait in the wrong room. Believe it or not, the judge in the correct courtroom will not know this and if you do not appear in time, they can issue a warrant for your arrest. It is ok to always ask court staff if you are in the right place. They are helpful and friendly.
At the arraignment, it is totally acceptable to enter a plea of Not Guilty. All this does is allow the judge to set your case to a pretrial conference.
Don’t worry about getting in trouble for entering a plea of Not Guilty. You can always change your plea to Guilty and the judge will understand. Be aware, also, that the court may advise you what the MAXIMUM sentence for your case is. This does not mean that the judge will give you that amount of jail. The judge merely has to advise you that this is what you are facing, worst case scenario. Furthermore, there’s nothing wrong with being nervous in court. You won’t need friends and family with you for the first date. Just get through it and you will be able to regroup later.
After you enter a plea of Not Guilty, the court may ask you to give fingerprints. Most people charged with crimes in Phoenix Municipal Court are ordered to give their fingerprints before they appear in court. The reason for this is to determine if you have any warrants for your arrest or if you are using a fake name. If you don’t give your fingerprints, the judge could potentially take you into custody.
Most pretrial conferences occur about 30-60 days after the initial appearance. At that time, you have the ability to obtain the police reports and other evidence that the prosecutor plans on using against you. Keeping this in mind, we generally advise people to speak with an attorney before the pretrial conference.
This is because the prosecutor may want to speak with you about your case. If the prosecutor is not seeking jail time, they may not appoint a public defender to your case. Because of this, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable position of speaking to the prosecutor, knowing that everything you say could be later used against you. In summation, it can be so useful to speak with an attorney before the pretrial conference.
Trial can be a very stressful time. Your freedom and your record are on the line. Furthermore, you have to endure a jury or a judge casting judgment on you. If you decide to go to trial, we advise that you have several meetings with your defense attorney. You have the right to testify. Also, you can call witnesses to testify on your behalf. But be aware, because preparation is key to survive the trial experience. If you are planning on calling witnesses, you must notify the court well in advance. Your witnesses also have to be available to show up to court on time. If you are planning on testifying, make sure that you have rehearsed several times. Little things like getting confused about dates and times can harm your credibility.
Our team includes former prosecutors. We also have an investigator who was a former police officer. As a result, are very familiar with all the prosecutors and judges in Phoenix Municipal Court. We can help you understand the precise nature of your charges, and help guide you through the criminal defense system.
If you do decide to hire our firm, we offer affordable fees and payment plans. For all criminal cases in the Phoenix Municipal Court, you can trust us to tirelessly work for you. Our goal, win your case.
For more information, please call 602-989-5000 to set up your free consultation. Rest easy, there are no sales pitches or pressure. We encourage you to bring paperwork to our office so that we can better understand the charges against you. The consultation can also occur over the phone, by Zoom or FaceTime.
We have successfully represented thousands of good people charged with crimes in Phoenix City Court. Our office is located just a few blocks down the street. Our team appears in Phoenix City Court on a daily basis. From DUI, Assault, Theft, Shoplifting, Domestic Violence or any other charge, we are here for you. In conclusion, we look forward to speaking with you!
Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.
EVERY CONSULTATION IS COMPLETELY FREE AND COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL.