Loading...

Checking Your Browser

Ensure browser cookies and javascript are enabled.

Hearing Types

Criminal Misdemeanors & Gross Misdemeanor Hearings

First Appearance (In-Custody Arraignment)

1st Appearance for jail inmates is held Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom D in the Courthouse Annex. Inmates appear by video link from the Spokane County Jail.

At 1st Appearance, the Judge will advise the accused of their rights, including the right to an attorney. The Judge must also determine if there is probable cause for the arrest, set a bond amount or release the accused on their own recognizance, and may also impose pretrial release conditions.

Arraignment

Arraignments are held in municipal courtrooms A, B, & C each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

At arraignment, the Judge will verify the accused's true name, advise the accused of his or her rights, including the right to an attorney. The complaint or citation and notice or the substance of the charge, will be read to the defendant, unless the reading is waived, and a copy thereof given to the accused.

You will be asked to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” to the charge or charges you are being arraigned on and the Judge may also impose pretrial release conditions.

Arraignment (DUI)

DUI arraignments are held every day in municipal courtroom D at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and in courtrooms A, B, & C each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

At arraignment, the Judge will verify the accused's true name, advise the accused of his or her rights, including the right to an attorney. The complaint or citation and notice or the substance of the charge, will be read to the defendant, unless the reading is waived, and a copy thereof given to the accused.

You will be asked to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” to the charge or charges you are being arraigned on and the Judge may also impose pretrial release conditions.

Pretrial Conference

The purpose of a pretrial conference is to periodically advise the judge of the pending status of the case, confirm compliance with pretrial discovery requests, review the status of the case investigation being conducted by both parties, and to permit plea discussions between the parties.

Motion Hearing

The time set aside for parties to argue pretrial motions before the court, including confession suppression, suppression of physical evidence, motions to dismiss, and any other pretrial matters.

Trial Readiness Hearing

This hearing confirms the case is ready for trial in all respects, including completion of investigations, discovery, pretrial motions and the like.

Trial / Jury Trial

At trial, the prosecution puts on its factual case establishing the accused committed each element of the crime(s) charged, the defense advances its facts and theory of the case, and the prosecution sets forth any rebuttal evidence that contradicts the facts established by the defendant. Following the presentations by the prosecution and defense, the trier-of-fact, meaning the judge or the jury, applies the law to the facts as presented and makes a finding that the defendant is “guilty” or “not guilty”.

Bench Warrant Recall Hearing

A defendant for who a warrant has been issued, may request the court to quash or recall the outstanding warrant by filing a Motion for Recall or Quash of Bench Warrant. Motions for Recall or Quash of Bench Warrants are held in municipal courtrooms A, B, & C each Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.

Infraction Hearings: Traffic, Parking, Code Violation, & Photo-Red

Pre-Hearing Conference

A defendant who requests a contested hearing for certain violations such as a code violation(s) or traffic violation(s) involving an accident, may first be scheduled for a pre-hearing conference to determine if the case can be resolved prior to setting a contested hearing. The prehearing may be waived by the defendant in writing if the waiver is received by the court before the time set for the prehearing conference. If the prehearing conference is waived, the case will be set for a contested hearing.

If a defendant opts to contest by mail rather than appear at contested hearing, the submission of a Statement of Defendant to Contest Infraction (PDF 17 KB) is considered waiver of the prehearing conference.

Contested – In Person

At the hearing, the prosecution puts on its factual case establishing the accused committed each element of the infractions(s) charged, you or your attorney set forth the facts and theory of the case the defense believes establish all elements of the offense were not committed, and the prosecution sets forth any rebuttal evidence that contradicts the facts established by the defense. Following the presentations by the prosecution and defense, the trier-of-fact, meaning the judge or commissioner, applies the law to the facts as presented and makes a finding that the defendant is “committed” or “not committed”. If you are found to have not committed the infractions(s), you have no further obligations to the Court. If you are found to have committed the infraction(s), the judge will impose a fine and entertain any request for the establishment of a payment plan for the fines.

Contested - By Mail

There is no physical hearing in this instance. The prosecution's factual case consists of the citation and sworn statements of the citing officer, contained on the back of the citation and/or in another report, including any photographs, etc., attached thereto, that are filed with the Court. Your factual case consists of the information you include on the form entitled, Statement of Defendant to Contest Infraction (PDF 17 KB), including any photographs, etc., attached thereto, that are filed with the Court. The trier-of-fact, meaning the judge or commissioner, reviews the material submitted by both parties, and applies the law to the facts as presented and makes a finding that the defendant is "committed" or "not committed". If you are found to have not committed the infractions(s), you have no further obligations to the Court. If you are found to have committed the infraction(s), the judge will impose a fine and entertain any request you may have made for the establishment of a payment plan for the fines. In either case, you will receive notice from the court by postal mail detailing the Court's judgment. There shall be no appeal from a decision on written statements per IRLJ 3.5(a)(4).

Mitigation - In Person

In an in-person mitigation hearing, when you appear you will have already indicated to the Court that you committed the infraction(s) at issue, but you believe circumstances exist surrounding the commission of the offense, or involving your history or financial situation, that justify a reduction in the fine. At the hearing the judge or commissioner will call your name, confirm you wish to mitigate the infraction(s) at issue, review the citation, find you committed of the offenses, hear any mitigating circumstances you wish to put forth, impose any fines(s), and entertain any request to establish a payment plan for the fine(s) imposed.

Mitigation – By Mail

In a via mail mitigation hearing, you will have already indicated to the Court that you committed the infraction(s) at issue, but you believe circumstances exist surrounding the commission of the offense, or involving your history or financial situation, that justify a reduction in the fine. There will be no formal hearing. In chambers the judge or commissioner will review the citation, find you committed of the offenses, consider any mitigating circumstances you set forth in the Statement of Defendant to Contest Infraction (PDF 17 KB) form you filed with the court, impose any fines(s), and entertain any request to establish a payment plan for the fine(s) imposed. You will receive notice from the court by postal mail detailing the Court's judgment.

Towing & Impound Hearings

In a towing and impound hearing, the towing authority will present facts and circumstances that it believes supports it statutory authority to have towed and impounded your vehicle. You or your attorney will present the facts and circumstances that you believe demonstrate the tow or impound did not comply with relevant statutory requirements. Following both party's case presentation, the judge will render a decision. If the judge finds the tow and impound valid, you will be responsible for all expenses related thereto. If the judge finds the tow invalid, you will not be responsible for the expenses associated with the tow and impound.


Contact Information

Municipal Court Clerk's Office
1100 W Mallon Ave
Spokane, WA 99260
509.625.4400
mcadmin@spokanecity.org