The Criminal Division is responsible for the efficient disposition of criminal cases prosecuted in the Municipal Court, including revoking probation of convicted defendants, as necessary and obtaining restitution not only for crime victims but also for the police department for the investigation of DUI accidents. The City Prosecutors also provide legal advice to the Police Dept., Code Enforcement Division, Western Arizona Humane Society and the Registrar of Contractors as well as review cases for screening of potential criminal charges. The City Prosecutor is also responsible for filing and processing asset forfeitures.

Click the link below to download the Community Resources Guide. Resources include:

  • Early childhood/youth services
  • Food/clothing/housing/utilities
  • Couseling/substance/alcohol
  • Law enforcement
  • Victim services/support/shelter
  • Early childhood/youth services


Do I need an attorney?

You must answer this question for yourself. You may either represent yourself or hire an attorney No other person besides you or your attorney may represent you on your case.

You may or may not qualify for a court-appointed attorney. The Court alone can make that determination. You should promptly inform the Court if you already have an attorney or plan to hire one, or if you are requesting that the Court appoint an attorney to represent you.

Once an attorney has entered an appearance on your behalf concerning your case, your attorney must communicate with the Prosecutor on your behalf. The Prosecutor cannot speak with represented defendants without their attorney present.

What is an Initial Appearance/Arraignment?

At your initial appearance/arraignment, the Judge will advise you of your rights and explain the charges brought against you. You will be asked to enter a plea concerning the charges.

The City Attorney's Office cannot speak to you or answer questions regarding your case before you have been advised of your rights and have entered a plea.

No testimony will be taken at initial appearance/arraignment and no witnesses will be present unless your case involved an alleged victim who has asked to be present. The Court will not grant any request to dismiss any charges at initial appearance/arraignment. Instead, you must decide upon a plea and enter your plea to the charges against you.

Under the American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Your decision on which plea to enter is one of the most important decisions you will have to make at your initial appearance/arraignment. There are three possible pleas to a criminal charge: Guilty, No Contest (or Nolo Contendere), or Not Guilty.

What are my options when entering a plea?
  • GUILTY - A plea of guilty means that you admit that you committed the act charged in the complaint, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no legal defense for your act. If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of the alleged offense, your plea of guilty could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission by you relative to the question of fault. If you enter a plea of guilty, you may be sentenced following the Judge's acceptance of your plea, or you may be sentenced at a later date.
  • NO CONTEST - A plea of no contest, also known as nolo contendere, means that you are not admitting or denying guilt. You are saying that you do not wish to contest the State's charge against you. Upon a plea of no contest, the Judge will impose a sentence as if you plead guilty. If you enter a plea of no contest, you may be sentenced following the Judge's acceptance of your plea, or you may be sentenced at a later date.
  • NOT GUILTY - A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt and that the State must prove the criminal charge against you. Under our American system of justice, all criminal defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If your plea is not guilty, a pretrial conference will be scheduled with the Prosecutor in the City Attorney's Office.

How do I reschedule a court date?

You will need to submit a written request to the Court (with a copy to the City Attorney's Office) to postpone any Court date. Be sure to include your name, current contact information, the case number, and the reason for your request, together with any documentation, such as a doctor's statement, to support your request. This is only a request - it is up to the Court whether or not to grant the request.

Is there a flow chart that shows what the typical course of action is at each stage of a case?