(a) Cases involving motor vehicle violations, excluding alleged violations of sections 14-215, 14-222, 14-222a, 14-224, 14-227a, 14-227m and 14-227n and any other motor vehicle violation involving a possible term of imprisonment, or any violation, as defined in section 53a-27, which are scheduled for the entering of a plea may be handled by a magistrate.

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 51-193u

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

(b) Infractions and violations designated in subsection (a) of this section in which a plea of not guilty has been entered may be heard by a magistrate. Magistrates shall not have the authority to conduct jury trials.

(c) Magistrates shall have the authority to accept pleas of guilty or of not guilty, to accept pleas of nolo contendere and enter findings of guilty thereon, to impose fines, to set bonds, to forfeit bonds, to continue cases to a date certain, to enter nolles brought by the prosecutorial official, to recommend suspension under section 14-111b, 14-140 or 15-154, to order notices of intention to suspend motor vehicle licenses and registrations, to order issuance of a mittimus if a defendant has been found able to pay and fails to pay, to remit fines, to impose or waive fees and costs, to hear and decide motions, to dismiss cases and to decide cases that are tried before him.

(d) A decision of the magistrate, including any penalty imposed, shall become a judgment of the court if no demand for a trial de novo is filed. Such decision of the magistrate shall become null and void if a timely demand for a trial de novo is filed. A demand for a trial de novo shall be filed with the court clerk within five days of the date the decision was rendered by the magistrate and, if filed by the prosecutorial official, it shall include a certification that a copy thereof has been served on the defendant or his attorney, in accordance with the rules of court. No record of the proceedings shall be required to be kept.