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Offered by: Brighton Resident Gregory R. McMahon, Esq.

As you may recall, last month I gave a brief overview of the Municipal Court System. This month I will focus on the Adams County Court. Part 4 will focus on the District Court in the November issue.

Adams County Court handles many different types of cases such as traffic tickets and misdemeanor cases. It has a very helpful website where many of your questions can be answered:

If you are given a summons to appear in Adams County Court at a specific date and time, you must appear in court. You must leave home early to allow yourself time to find parking and get through court security. Please note that if your appearance is for a Monday at 8:30 am, you will need even more extra time as security lines are often the longest on Mondays.

Your initial appearance will most likely occur in what is called the First Appearance Center.

You will be given the opportunity to meet with a Deputy District Attorney who may make you an offer to settle your case. If your case is a traffic ticket, there’s a good chance you can settle your case at your first appearance. If you are charged with a criminal violation, it’s likely that you will have to make a couple of court appearances before your case is either resolved by a plea bargain or you choose to go to trial.

Failure to appear on a summons, which is issued by law enforcement, can mean that a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you are unable to appear on the date and time scheduled, you should call the court immediately and explain why you cannot appear, such as you’re out of town or have a medical appointment. If the court agrees to reset your hearing date, make sure that you get written confirmation of your new court date.

Many attorneys offer free consultations either in person or by phone prior to your first court appearance. I do. Hopefully, you have found this information helpful and will use it to help protect your rights.

As always, the information in this column does not constitute legal advice as every case is very different. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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