Oro Valley Magistrate Court

Oro Valley, AZ

Frequently Asked Questions

User Guide Link: ODR User Guide

Definitions

Party: In a criminal proceeding, the parties are the plaintiff and the defendant.

Plaintiff: In a criminal proceeding, the plaintiff is the entity alleging that a person committed a crime. For example, the State of Arizona is the plaintiff for misdemeanor criminal cases.

Prosecutor: In a criminal proceeding, the prosecutor is the lawyer who represents the plaintiff.

Defendant: In a criminal proceeding, the defendant is the person accused of having committed a crime.

Attorney of Record: The lawyer who appears and speaks on behalf of a party and who is entitled to receive all formal documents from the court and the other party.

Court-Appointed Attorney: In a criminal proceeding, a criminal defense lawyer appointed by the court to represent a defendant that cannot financially afford to hire a lawyer.

Arraignment: An initial court proceeding where the court advises the defendant of the charges alleged in a criminal complaint and the defendant’s legal rights. During this proceeding, the defendant enters a plea, or the court enters a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf.

  • Charge:The crime that a defendant is being accused of having committed.
  • Allegation: A party’s formal statement of a factual matter as being true or provable, without its having yet been proved.
  • Plea: A defendant’s formal response of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest” to a criminal charge.
    • Not Guilty: The plea of a defendant who denies that he/she committed the crime(s) being charged.
    • Guilty: The plea of a defendant who admits that he/she committed the crime(s) being charged.
    • No Contest: The plea of a defendant who will not dispute the charge(s) but does not admit to being guilty.

Self-incrimination: A statement or action that indicates one’s own involvement in a crime.

Non-Jury Trial: A trial before a judge without a jury. The judge decides questions of fact and questions of law.

Jury Trial: A trial in which a jury decides the questions of fact and the judge decides questions of law.

Questions of Fact: Issues concerning the facts of a case.

Questions of Law: Issues concerning the application or interpretation of laws.

Charges Eligible for Jury Trial

  • Any charge with an allegation of sexual motivation pursuant to 13-118
  • Contempt
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Public Sexual Indecency
  • Reckless Driving
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft
  • Unlawful Imprisonment

What is Online Dispute Resolution?

It is a way to participate in your case without having to go to the courthouse for an arraignment or pretrial conference. The court will make decisions about your case using the same considerations as if you had appeared in person at the courthouse. Any offers the prosecutor extends through this website are the same offers you would have received if you had appeared in person.

How does Online Dispute Resolution work?

You use the website to complete your arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. The court will review your case and send you a notice of your next scheduled court date. If you plead not guilty, then the prosecutor will also send you, or your attorney, a plea agreement offer and/or other communications.

How will I know if the court accepts my plea?

You will receive a notification from the court through the ODR system, which will inform you of any additional action and any future court date.

What happens if the Prosecutor and I can't come to an agreement on the terms of my plea?

You have the right to request a trial. If your matter cannot be resolved online, you will be scheduled to appear in person at the court.

Will I get to talk with the prosecutor and the judge about my case?

There is a real judge and a real prosecutor making their own decisions and communicating with you, or your attorney, about your case. The prosecutor provides the same offers and communications that would have been provided if you, or your attorney, had personally appeared at the courthouse.

How many days do I have to respond to plea offers sent to me from the prosecutor?

Seven calendar days.

Is there a fee for Online Dispute Resolution?

No.

What are the benefits to Online Dispute Resolution?

You can complete your arraignment and participate in pretrial court proceedings without having to personally appear at the courthouse. You may also plead guilty or no contest, be sentenced, and pay your fine/costs without personally appearing at the courthouse.

How is Online Dispute Resolution different from appearing at the court in person?

The only difference is that your participation in your case takes place through this website instead of at the courthouse. You are expected to comply with court-ordered deadlines and appearances.

Why does the court allow Online Dispute Resolution?

It is an efficient means of providing access to justice. Some defendants may not be able to personally appear in court because they live far from the court (perhaps in another state), have health issues, or have transportation challenges.

If I plead guilty or no contest and the outcome of my case requires payment, will I still be responsible for paying my fines and costs?

Yes, you would be responsible for paying any fines and costs. At the conclusion of your case, you would be provided with payment instructions.

Why was my case removed from Online Dispute Resolution?

A case is removed when: a trial was requested, a plea agreement could not be reached, the defendant did not actively participate, or online processes were not preferred. In these instances, you must personally appear at the courthouse for future proceedings. A case is also removed after having been successfully resolved through Online Dispute Resolution.