Anyone charged with an offense is entitled to plead Not Guilty. In a Summary matter, a trial will then be scheduled at the Court where the Citation is filed. At the Summary Trial, the Magisterial District Judge hears testimony presented by both sides (prosecution and defense), and renders a verdict. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and the defense may present testimony, but is not required to. You can choose to be represented by an attorney, but it is not required. If you do not appear for your trial, you may be found Guilty in your absence. Note: A Guilty verdict in all Summary matters can be appealed within 30 days to the Court of Common Pleas for a new trial (trial de novo.)
You may be required to post collateral before the trial will be scheduled. Your Not Guilty plea plus collateral for the trial can be collected by the Constable, or delivered in person or by mail to the District Court which issued the Warrant. If you have special financial considerations, you must contact the Court in person to make arrangements. Note: Collateral is not an extra charge. If you are found Not Guilty, it will be refunded to you. If you are found Guilty, it will be applied towards your fines and costs. Your fines and costs will include Warrant and Constable Costs incurred.