City of Monroe, Louisiana
"If you have been cited for a criminal offense, you must appear at the Monroe City Court on the assigned court date. Criminal arraignments begin promptly at 8:00am, with a Judge presiding. Criminal violations cannot be paid in advance, the possible penalties for criminal violations are provided by a judge on the appearance date."
An arraignment is a court appearance in which you are formally notified of the charges that have been filed against you. There are basically three options:
- Enter into a diversion agreement if eligible.
Diversion means that the State will agree to suspend prosecution for a set period of time to allow you to attend an appropriate counseling program and the charge(s) may be dismissed if diversion requirements are met.
- Plead guilty or no contest to the judge.
The Prosecutor's Office will tell you if there is a recommended sentence.
You may decide if the recommended sentence is fair and plead guilty or no contest to the Court.
The judge can agree with the prosecutor's recommendation and sentence you accordingly, disagree with the recommendation and sentence you within the range available for your class of misdemeanor, or set a future court date for sentencing.
If you plead guilty or are found guilty, all fines assessed are due on the same day (please refer to the Fines & Restitution page for more information).
- Plead not guilty.
At that time, a representative from the Prosecutor's Office will inform you if you are eligible for a diversion program or recommend sentencing. If you do not fall into either category, your case will be set to a future pre-trial conference date. At the pre-trial conference, you will meet with a prosecutor and discuss a possible plea agreement.
Be aware that the City Prosecutor is not your attorney and he/she is prohibited from providing you legal advice on how your case should be handled.