What To Expect

What to Expect at Tahoe Justice Court


We understand that you may have many questions about what to expect when you appear in court. The following information is provided for your convenience. It outlines a criminal defendant’s options and actions while working within the court system.

Follow the links at the bottom of each page to step through to the next section. If you do not understand or have other questions, you may ask the judge when you appear. If you are looking for an answer to a specific question, try visiting the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.


So you’ve been charged with a crime by the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Deputy, Contractor’s License Board, Department of Wildlife, or other government authority (Criminal), or you’ve been sued by another person and served due process (Civil). Start here to understand the charges against you.

Appearing In Court

When you show up in court, there are certain rules you should follow.

Your Plea

When you’ve been charged with a crime you may appear in Court and may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or not contest.

The District Attorney

The District Attorney or DA will be present when you enter your plea and may speak with you about your case. You are not required to speak to the District Attorney, however the District Attorney’s Office has valuable information about your case and that information may assist you in deciding whether or not you should to move to trial and how your plea will differ depending on your unique set of circumstances.

The Trial & Sentencing

If your case goes to trial you will have an opportunity to explain your case and see the evidence against you.

Jail, Bail & Bond

If you plea guilty or are found guilty by trial, then you typically will owe the court a fee along with any other fines imposed by your unlawful actions. Your sentencing may include jail time.


You may have been arrested on a warrant. If you were released from jail,  you were assigned a time and date to appear in Court. If you have lost this information, you should immediately contact the Court to remind yourself of this important appearance.

If you do not appear in Court as promised or obtain an extension from the Court prior to your Court date, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You could face additional jail time and fines for missing a Court date.