What happens at a Justice Court trial?

The officer has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence means the greater weight of evidence. It is evidence that has more convincing force when weighed against the opposing evidence. The officer testifies first and tells the judge the circumstances involved in the alleged violation. You can then ask the officer questions about the officer’s testimony. If the officer has other witnesses, you can question those witnesses. You can have your own witnesses testify. You may also testify, but you are not required to. If you testify, the officer and the judge can ask you questions. At the end of the trial, the judge decides what the facts are and applies the law to the facts. If the judge decides you are not guilty, the judge will dismiss the ticket. If the judge believes that the violation has been proved by a preponderance of the evidence the judge will impose a fine. You can make payment arrangements to pay the fine. You have a right to appeal a decision adverse to you to the Circuit Court.

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