You may enter a plea of not guilty and ask for a trial even if you think you have committed the offense charged. The words "not guilty" are legalese for saying --I want to exercise my constitutional rights and require the Prosecution to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
Bench Trial or Trial to the Court A trial held before a judge sitting without a jury
Upon a not guilty plea, the matter will be tried or set for trial, and the City Prosecutor will be required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you fail to appear for the scheduled trial, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest and an additional charge for failure to appear may be filed against you. Traffic tickets are limited to a Bench Trial. Failure to appear will result in the entry of a conviction.
Jury Trial A trial held before a judge sitting with a jury
You have the right to a jury trial for non-motor vehicle cases, if you request one in writing within 21 days of the date of your arraignment or your entry of a plea. The written request must be accompanied with a jury fee of twenty-five dollars ($25). You will have a jury of three (3) unless you request six (6).