Each case has its own unique circumstances and warrants are handled according to the Judge's discretion. No generic assurances can be given, and we cannot make general promises not to arrest anyone with outstanding warrants. However, you may voluntarily appear before the Judge. By appearing voluntarily, people are able to avoid being arrested at an inconvenient and embarrassing time. Commonly, appearing voluntarily allows people to avoid spending nights in jail, avoid the need to post bond, and allows for same-day resolution. To appear before the Judge you must come during a normal court docket. Please review the current calendar for available dates.
Can I Get a Court Appointed Attorney?
If you have been charged with an offense that may result in jail time as part of the sentence, and you want an attorney but cannot afford one, an attorney may be appointed for you. The Court will only appoint an attorney if you are indigent and there is a possibility you may go to jail. You will be asked to fill out a financial affidavit regarding your income and expenses and the judge will either approve or disapprove the appointment of counsel. Download and complete the Financial Affidavit and bring it to your scheduled court date.
I Have to get an alcohol and drug evaluation, who do I go to?
Please click here to see the Gardner Municipal Court approved list of monitoring companies.
Can I have a Jury Trial?
No. You can not have your case tried before a jury in Municipal Court.
What is an Arraignment?
Arraignment is the session of court in which you, the defendant, enter a plea to the charge against you. You may enter one of three pleas:
1. Pleading Guilty means you admit to committing the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and you have no defense for the act.
2. Pleading Not Guilty means you deny guilt and the City must prove in trial that the charges are true beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
3. Pleading No Contest means you do not wish to contest the City’s charge against you but wish to talk to the Judge about mitigating circumstances. Judgment will be entered by the Judge and some penalty will be set. A plea of no contest cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damage.
When pleading guilty or no contest you may speak to the Judge about mitigating circumstances; however, the Judge is only available during regularly scheduled court dates.
Can I get my ticket amended?
The prosecutor has established a policy for amending moving violations amended to non moving violations. Certain moving violations can be processed by the court clerk but some violations require you to see the prosecutor personally on your court date. Call the court clerk to verify your options prior to your scheduled court date.
Do I need an attorney to plead not guilty?
No. The decision to be represented by an attorney is entirely up to you. You have the right to represent yourself in any proceedings this is called Pro Se representation.
Can I have an attorney represent me?
In all cases in Municipal Court, you have a right to representation by an attorney.
I have not paid my ticket and my court date is today.
If you haven't paid your ticket before your court date, you must come to court. Please note, staff is not available to answer phone calls during court dockets. Phone messages received on the day of your scheduled court date may not be returned. If you did not request a continuance prior to your court date, you must appear in court or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Can I get a continuance?
Court clerks are authorized to give one continuance. In order to receive this continuance, you must phone in prior to your court date and request the continuance.
Can I pay my citation before my court date?
Some citations can be paid before your scheduled court date; however, others may require appearance in court. You may pay with cash, check, money order, cashier's check, MasterCard, or Visa. Other credit cards are not accepted. You may also make payments online, but please be aware that some citations are still required to be paid at City Hall. To make a payment online, please click HERE.