Justice Court has appearances Monday thru Friday at 9:15 A.M. and again at 2:15 P.M. The issuing agency usually will write an appearance date on your ticket 10 days from when you were issued the ticket.
All DUI and DUI related charges must appear at 2:15P.M. Monday thru Friday.
At 3:15 P.M. the court begins to process in-custody arraignments via video link from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility and Initial Appearances on those charged with a Felony. After those appearances are complete, the court sees criminal cases and other cases as needed.
Some offenses are mandatory appearances before the Judge. The Judge will ask you for a Guilty or Not Guilty plea. If you decide to plead Guilty, the Judge will sentence you then. You may explain to the judge the circumstances of why you are guilty, but you cannot plead guilty and explain to the judge why you are not guilty.
It is also your right to a trial. Upon entry of a Not Guilty plea, the Judge will advise you of your hearing dates. Non-Jury and Jury trials are set about 6-8 weeks from your appearance.
If the charge you are faced with meets certain criteria, you may be appointed a Public Defender by the court. When you appear in front of the Judge and enter a not guilty plea, the judge will ask if you can afford an attorney. If you are unable to afford an attorney, the judge may appoint one for you.
You may be required to pay for your representation by the Public Defender’s office.
While the Justice Court clerks are pleased to assist you in any way possible, please understand that we are unable to provide legal advice. If you need legal advice or have questions, please contact an attorney.