Look at Your Paperwork for Your First Court Date at West Mesa Justice Court
Your court paperwork should contain your first court date at West Mesa Justice Court. The first court date is your arraignment.
What to do when you get to West Mesa Justice Court
Park behind the courthouse on the north side of the building. The front entrance is also on the north side. When you enter, you’ll need to go through security. No weapons, drugs, or contraband are permitted. You’ll be asked to check in at the front counter and court staff will tell you where to wait. When inside the courtroom, be quiet and respectful. When your name is called, step forward to politely address the Judge. This court is particularly strict about electronic devices. You cannot use them inside the courtroom and you cannot talk on your phone anywhere in the building.
What to wear and bring to West Mesa Justice Court
Dress appropriate for Court. Avoid sunglasses, sandals, and offensive or provocative attire. We recommend business casual. By dressing professionally, you make a positive impression on the prosecutor and judge.
Bring any paperwork related to your case. If you’ve remedied any civil charge, bring proof of that. If you’ve completed a finger print order, bring proof of completion.
The Court doesn’t allow food or drinks. You cannot talk on your phone inside the building. Electronic devices may not be used in the courtroom. Avoid bringing children. If children are disruptive, they may be asked to leave.
Your First Court Date: Arraignment at West Mesa Justice Court
Unless you hire a Mesa criminal defense attorney, you must go to your arraignment. If you don’t show up, or if you’re late, you face additional criminal charges, a warrant for your arrest, and a license suspension.
The arraignment is routine, but time consuming. Every defendant is called up one by one. The judge verifies everyone’s name, address, and date of birth. The judge reads the charges and potential penalties. The judge also asks for everyone’s plea. You should plead not guilty. You have many options, programs, and defenses to take advantage of. Once you plead guilty, those options are gone. Thus, even if you you’re guilty of a criminal charge, the arraignment isn’t the time to take responsibility. You should at least meet with the prosecutor first.
The arraignment isn’t the time to discuss facts or issues in the case. Those need to be brought to the prosecutor at a pretrial conference. The Judge cannot hear evidence or motions without the prosecutor’s input. The prosecutor won’t be present at the arraignment.
The Court may address release conditions at arraignment. Release conditions depend on the charges, facts, personal circumstances, victim input, and any relevant information. In most West Mesa Justice Court cases, the court imposes standard release conditions. Sometimes the Court will impose restraining orders in victim cases.
Before the arraignment, you should consult with a criminal attorney who’s versed in the criminal procedures of West Mesa Justice Court. At a minimum, a consultation will help you understand your options.
Tobin Law Office Simplifies the Arraignment and Pretrial Conference Process
We file the requisite paperwork to vacate the arraignment and we appear at your pretrial conferences for you. You won’t have to take time from work or family; you’ll take comfort in knowing that a professional is handling your case.
After arraignment, the remaining hearings before a trial, dismissal, or plea agreement are called pretrial conferences. At each pretrial, you, or your attorney, will meet the prosecutor to review the case, exchange evidence, and negotiate.
West Mesa Justice Court often holds several pretrial conferences before a criminal case is resolved by plea bargain, trial, or dismissal. The judge usually doesn’t hear evidence or testimony at pretrial conferences, unless there’s a written motion filed in advance. Pretrial conferences serve as informal meetings to aid in case resolution.
You need to show up to all your pretrial conferences, unless a criminal attorney goes in your place. When you get to court for pretrial, check in at the service counter. Court staff will direct you to wait in the lobby for the prosecutor. We recommend showing up early to sign in. There can be a long wait. When it’s your turn, the prosecutor will call you into their office. In the prosecutor’s office, you’ll negotiate your future with a trained professional. Mr. Tobin cautions clients that the prosecutors aren’t there to help you. Their main job is to move the calendar, convict you, and seek punishment. Unfortunately, you’ll be a number in a long line of cases.
When a criminal case cannot be negotiated, diverted, or dismissed, the case is set for trial. At trial, a trained prosecutor presents the case against you through testimony and evidence. Defendants can testify, cross examine witnesses, call witnesses, and present argument. If you’re found not guilty of all charges, the case is over and you’re free to go. If you’re convicted of any offense, the judge will sentence you that day. If jail is ordered, the Judge will permit you to pick a self-surrender date. The Judge can also order work release, probation, fines, community service, counseling, and more.
Look up Your West Mesa Justice Court Case Online.
West Mesa JC Case Search: Justice Court Case Search
West Mesa JC Calendar: West Mesa Justice Court Calendar
Possible Penalties at West Mesa Justice Court
West Mesa Justice Court only hears misdemeanors. Arizona’s misdemeanor laws dictate that the maximum jail is 180 days, 3 years of probation, and $2,500 in fines, plus surcharges, costs, and assessments. Depending on the specific charges, there can be classes, restitution, counseling, and more. Maybe worst of all, a misdemeanor can leave a permanent criminal record.
Maximum jail for Arizona misdemeanors under A.R.S. § 13-707.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: 6 months
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: 4 months
- Class 3 Misdemeanor: 1 month
Maximum probation for Arizona misdemeanors under A.R.S. § 13-902.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: 3 years
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: 2 years
- Class 3 Misdemeanor: 1 year
Maximum fines for Arizona misdemeanors under A.R.S. § 13-802.
- Total court payments can exceed $10,000 after surcharges, assessments, and costs
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: $2,500, plus surcharge, fees, assessments, and jail costs
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: $750, plus surcharge, fees, assessments, and jail costs
- Class 3 Misdemeanor: $500, plus surcharge, fees, assessments, and jail costs
Additional Penalties. Depending on the specific charge, there can be license suspensions, restitution, community service, treatment, classes, courses, loss of gun rights, immigration consequences, and more.
DUI Penalties. DUI penalties are complex and fact depended. It helps to reference our page on Arizona’s Misdemeanor DUI penalties.