The date and time of your court appearance is written on your ticket. Court is held in the Public Safety Building located at 401 E. Third St.
You will need to check in with the court staff when you arrive, and then wait until the judge calls your name. The judge will ask you to enter a plea. You may plead guilty, not guilty or no contest.
- All of the following apply when entering the McMinnville Municipal Courtroom:
- No hats or caps
- No food or drink
- No gum
- No backpacks
- No tank tops
- No half shirts
- No inappropriate shorts
- No bare feet
- No talking during court
- All cell phones, pagers and any other electronic devices must be turned off in the courtroom.
The purpose of the first court appearance is to tell the Court how you wish to proceed with your case. There are three options:
- You can plead NOT GUILTY if you wish to contest the charge against you and go to trial. The trial date is usually set within 4-8 weeks and you will receive a written notice about two weeks in advance.
- You can plead GUILTY. If you choose this option, you can offer an explanation of the circumstances to the judge. Your fine or other penalty, assessed by the Judge, will depend on your explanation, your driving record and the seriousness of the offense. A plea of guilty will result in a conviction being entered on your driving record.
- You can plead NO CONTEST. The plea of no contest under Oregon Law results in a guilty finding by the Court. The benefit of a no contest plea is that you do not have to admit guilt in open court. The fine or other penalty, assessed by the Judge, will depend on your explanation, your driving record and the seriousness of the offense. A plea of no contest will result in a conviction being entered on your driving record.
Please be aware that if you fail to obey an order of the Court, including an order to pay a fine, your drivers' license will be suspended and you may be subject to further legal action and costs.
Please direct any questions you may have to the judge. Under Oregon law, court clerks cannot give legal advice.
If you cannot afford an attorney, the Court may provide you with an attorney at no cost to you. Court-appointed attorneys are only provided in misdemeanor cases. To qualify, you will need to complete a financial statement. Based on the information you provide, the judge will determine whether to grant your request. Click below to review the Financial Statement form. Court staff will provide you with a self-duplicating form when you come to Court. You should be prepared to complete this form when you are in Court. Financial Statement Form
If you cannot afford to pay for certain costs, the Court may reduce or waive those costs. To qualify, you will need to complete a financial statement. Based on the information you provide, the judge will determine whether to grant your request. Click here to review the Financial Statement Form. You should be prepared to complete this form when you are in Court. Court staff will provide you with a self-duplicating form when you come to Court.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor and you plead not guilty, you have the option to request that the Court provide you with a jury trial or a bench trial (a trial in front of the Judge but with no jury). Jury and bench trials are generally held on Fridays. The jury panel is made up of citizens of the city, selected at random. If you have been charged with a violation and you plead not guilty, you will be scheduled for a non-jury trial on a Wednesday.