Court Procedures

This information has been prepared to help you understand the court proceedings and to inform you of your rights and duties. Misdemeanor criminal cases, which are ordinance violations for which the maximum fine, upon conviction, does not exceed $500 and/or 90 days in the county jail, are tried in Municipal Division. Trials are conducted under the rules set forth in the Missouri Revised Statutes and Rules of Evidence. For more information on the rules see the Office of State Courts Administrator.

  1. When Court Begins
  2. Plea of Guilty
  3. Plea of Guilty & Explanation
  4. Plea of Not Guilty
  5. The Trial
  6. Presenting the Case
  7. Fines
  8. Court Costs
  9. Right to Appeal
  10. The Decision

The Judge will explain the rights in the Municipal Division/Court before he begins. If you have any questions, please wait. When your name is called, come forward and wait to be summoned before the Judge. The violations that you are alleged to have committed will be read and at that time you should be prepared to ask any questions or plead the following:

  • Guilty
  • Guilty with an explanation, or
  • Not Guilty

Your decision on what plea to enter is the most important decision you will have to make. We suggest that you read explanations of your options before entering your plea. If you decide that you would like to seek the services of an attorney, please inform the Judge and you may be given time to do so.