Your presence in the Court today is perhaps your first experience in any court. This information
has been prepared to help you understand the court proceedings and to inform you of your rights
The Municipal Division of the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit is the Judicial Branch of the city government
, and is a part of the state judicial system.
Ordinance violations for which the maximum fine, upon conviction, does not exceed $500.00 and/or 90
days in jail, are tried in the Municipal Division.
Trials are conducted under the rules set forth in the Missouri Revised Statutes Rules of Evidence.
Before Court Begins
As the Judge enters the courtroom, please rise. Afterwards, please be seated. There is no talking, drinking, or smoking during court.
When your name is called, come forward and wait to be called before the Judge. The violations that you are alleged to have committed
will be read and at that time you should be prepared to plead either guilty or not guilty.
If you are signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, but only signed a promise
to dispose of the charges of which you were accused through appearance or pre-payment of fine and cost.
Your decision on what plea to enter is the most important decision you will have to make.
We suggest that you read the following explanations before entering your plea. If you decide that you would
like to seek the services of an attorney, please inform the Judge and you will be given time to do so.
Plea Of Guilty
By plea of guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law,
and that you have no defense for your act. Before entering a plea of guilty, you need to understand
The City has the burden of proving its case against you. You have the right to hear the City's evidence
and to require it to prove its case. The law does not require you to prove anything.
If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of the alleged offense, your plea of guilty
could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission by you that you were at fault or
were the party responsible for the accident.
You are URGED not to plead guilty, if you do not feel that you are guilty.
Plea Of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means that you deny guilt and that the City must prove its charge against you. Your case
will be set for trial, and you will be given a date to appear. You will receive no other notice with regard to
your trial date.
If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether to employ an attorney to represent you at the trial.
You may defend yourself, but no one else except an attorney may represent you.
At the time of the trial, the City will be required to prove all the allegations as contained in the
formal complaint against you "beyond a reasonable doubt", before a verdict of guilty can be reached.
Under Missouri law, you can be brought to trial only after a formal complaint has been filed.
The complaint is the document, which alleges what you are supposed to have done, and that your action