Municipal Court

Constitutional Rights

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Constitutional Rights

Watch Judge Steele's presentation of "Know Your Rights" on YouTube.
The constitutions of the United States and the state of Washington give you the following rights:

    1. Representation by a lawyer. You may, in all cases, hire an attorney of your own choosing to represent you. If you cannot afford to hire your own attorney, you are charged with a crime which is punishable by a jail term, and the court finds you are indigent, an attorney will be appointed to represent you at public expense. You have a right to have an attorney present at any time you are questioned or making an appearance. This is the only right you keep if you plead guilty.
    2. Presumption of innocence. You are presumed innocent. It is up to the city to prove the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
    3. Speedy trial. If you are not in custody, you must be brought to trial within 90 days after arraignment If you are in custody, you must be brought to trial within 60 days after arraignment.
    4. To a trial by jury. If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for trial before a jury of six persons. If you do not want your case to be tried by a jury, you may give up your rights to a jury trial and have your case set for trial before a judge without a jury.
    5. To remain silent. You may refuse to make a statement regarding your case to any prosecuting authority, to the police, or to this court. If you choose to make a statement, it can and will be used against you at trial. You may testify or refuse to testify in court. If you do not testify, that fact will not be held against you.
    6. Hear and question witnesses. You may hear and question all witnesses who testify.
    7. Call Witnesses. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf at no expense to yourself.
    8. Plead Guilty. If you plead guilty, you waive your right to trial and may not thereafter appeal the question of your guilt.
    9. Appeal. You may appeal a determination of guilt after a trial.
    10. Non-U.S. Citizen. If you are a not a citizen of the United States, you have the right to contact the consular representative of you own country located here in the United States as provided in the Vienna Convention of 1963.