Do you need a lawyer?
Only you can answer this question. You may represent yourself, request the Judge appoint an attorney to represent you if you are eligible or you may hire a lawyer. If the Court appoints an attorney to represent you, the Judge may order you to reimburse some or all of the fees associated with paying that lawyer.
NOTE: The Court is not required to appoint a lawyer in all cases or circumstances.
What should you do before the trial?
You must make any necessary preparations for your trial to include locating evidence in your favor. If you want witnesses ordered to appear for you, ask the Court to issue subpoenas for your witnesses. You must provide a physical address for service and a phone number, if available. You must prepare in advance any photographs, sketches or maps that might help you explain your case. It is important for you to appear at the Status Hearing and be prepared to discuss this information. A Status Hearing is set to make sure that all parties are ready to proceed to trial.
What happens at the trial?
A Prosecutor will present the State's case usually through the testimony of witnesses and/or the introduction of exhibits, photographs, sketches, maps and similar items. You will have a right to cross-examine each witness the State presents. You may present witnesses or other evidence on your behalf, if you choose. You may testify on your own behalf. If you choose to testify, you will be subject to cross-examination by the Prosecutor. Whether you testify or not is entirely your decision because you have the absolute right to remain silent and no one can force you to testify. If you choose not to testify, this action can NEVER be used against you for any purpose.
After both sides present their case, the Judge or jury will make a decision based on the evidence. If you are found Not Guilty, you will not have a record of any conviction and any bond that you have posted will be refunded.
If you are found Guilty, you will have a conviction for the charge(s), the Judge may impose sentence after the trial or set a date for sentencing and there will be a record of your conviction in this Court. If you are convicted, you have a right to appeal the conviction and/or the sentence by filing a Notice of Appeal within 14 days after the action being appealed. The Appellate Division of the Mohave County Superior Court would determine whether this Court’s decision was correct. The appeal would be a review of the record of the case. You would not automatically receive a new trial.