YOUR RIGHTS IN
WHAT IS MUNICIPAL
The Municipal Court
for the City of Osage Beach is a division of the 26th Circuit Court
of Missouri. Cases in the Municipal Court involve alleged violations of
ordinances in the City of Osage Beach. If you have received a citation for a
municipal ordinance violation, you have certain rights and responsibilities.
The purpose of this brochure is to help you understand these rights and
The docket is the
court calendar. This court date and time are reserved specifically for you to
appear in Osage Beach Municipal Court to answer to the charge(s) filed. If you
do not know if you are on the docket, ask the Bailiff. If it is, have a seat in
The Bailiff will
call Court to order and advise you the rules of conduct you will be expected to
follow while in the courtroom. When the Judge calls the names on the docket, it
would be helpful to clearly state “Here” or “Present” and raise your hand when your name is called so the Judge knows who
is in Court that day.
If the Prosecuting
Attorney is requesting that you be sentenced to jail for the violation for
which you are charged, or it appears to the Judge that there is a reasonable
likelihood that you will be sentenced to jail, the Judge will notify you before accepting a plea of guilty or
not guilty. If jail is a possible punishment and you are not able to hire an
attorney, the Court will appoint an attorney for your. You do not have a constitutional right to have an attorney appointed if
jail is not a likely punishment.
An arraignment is
your first appearance in Municipal Court. When you are given a citation, you
are also given a court date and time to appear in Municipal Court. When you
appear at your arraignment, your name will be called. When your name is called,
approach the bench. The Judge will read the charge(s) that have been filed
against you. If you do not understand the charge(s), ask the Judge to explain
it. The Judge will then ask how you plead to the charge(s).
The only pleas
allowed in Missouri are “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. The plea of “No Contest” or
“Nolo Contendere” is not recognized in this state.
A GUILTY PLEA
If you plead guilty,
you are admitting to the Judge that you have committed the act(s) that you were
charged with and that you have no defense for your act(s). The Judge may ask
you questions. The Judge will then assess a fine, court costs and/or what
sentence you must serve. Before you plead guilty, you have the right to ask the
Judge if you will go to jail.
A GUILTY PLEA WITH
This plea has the
same effect as a plea of guilty, but says that you would like to explain to the
Judge mitigating circumstances with respect to the punishment. After your explanation, the Judge will assess a fine,
court costs and/or what sentence you must serve after taking into consideration
the seriousness of the offense and any explanation by you.
You cannot plead guilty and then in your explanation to
the Judge say that you did not violate the law. Any explanation that you offer
will only affect the penalty.
When you plead
guilty, you will be giving up the following rights: To hire an attorney to
represent you; to have a trial before a court; to call witnesses to testify for
you; to testify for yourself; to cross-examine any witness that the City may
call; and the right to a new trial in front of a different Judge.
A NOT GUILTY PLEA
If: 1) You did not
do what you are accused of doing. 2) You are not sure what you are accused of
is a violation of the law. 3) You are asking for more time to retain counsel,
find witness(es) of your own or otherwise be more prepared,plead not guilty.
The Judge will set a new court date.
If you do not have a
lawyer and you think you need the help of one, you should contact one BEFORE going to court. You may also
choose to proceed without a lawyer and represent yourself. You have the right
to bring witness(es) to the trial. If you need the court to help you bring
witnesses, the court can issue them subpoenas, but ONLY after you provide the court the names and addresses of these
At the trial, the
City Prosecutor will first present evidence against you. You may confront and
question the witness(es) for the City. Then you will have a chance to tell your
side of the story. The Prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable
doubt. The Prosecutor will call witness(es) to testify about the facts alleged
in the charge(s). When each witness has finished answering the Prosecutor’s
questions, you or your attorney will have the right to question the witness.
This is called cross-examination.
Cross-examination is not a time when you can testify or
argue with the witness.
After all the
witnesses for the City have testified, you will have an opportunity to present
your case. You may testify and you may call witnesses to testify; however, you
are not required to testify. If you do testify, you may also be questioned by
After you have
presented your case, the Prosecutor has the right to present rebuttal evidence.
Rebuttal evidence is evidence that explains or denies your evidence.
After all witnesses
have testified, each side may give a closing argument.
The Judge must then
decide if you are guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, the Judge will
assess a punishment, considering the seriousness of the offense(s) and any
explanation offered by you during your evidence. If the Judge finds you not
guilty, you are free to go.
APPEAL-TRIAL DE NOVO
If the Judge finds
you guilty, you have the right to ask for a new trial. This is a retrial of the
case before a different Judge. The new trial is called a Trial De Novo. Your
application for Trial De Novo must be
filed within 10 (ten) calendar days of the first trial. Payment of the fine or
failure to file the application for Trial De Novo within 10 (ten) calendar days
forfeits your right to appeal.
A filing fee and
application of Trial De Novo must be filed with the Municipal Court Clerk
before transferring the case to the Circuit Court. This payment must be in the
form of cash or money order only.
If you want a Trial
De novo, you must tell the Judge or the Municipal Court Clerk. Forms are
available at the Municipal Court Clerks’ office.
PAYMENT OF FINES AND
If you are found guilty and you cannot pay your fines and court costs at
that time, you may ask the Judge to put you on a payment plan. The Judge will
ask questions to determine a pay plan that is reasonable to both the Court and
you. If you are put on a pay plan, you are entering into an agreement to make payments
on a set schedule or to have the fine and court cost paid in full by a set
date. If you are on a payment plan with the Court and cannot make a payment or
need the plan adjusted, you will need to appear in front of the Judge to ask
for that adjustment. Call the Court Clerk’s office to request your need to
speak to the Judge about your pay plan and the Court Clerk will give you a date
and time to appear.
What to Bring to Court
Bring the following with you to court:
Proper identification (driver's license,
Your copy of the citation or court
documents received from the court
Any receipts regarding your case (i.e., bond
receipts, cash bail receipts, etc.)
Any documents which prove compliance with the
judge's orders and/or sentencing
The City accepts all forms of payments;
however, credit/debit cards will be subject to a service charge collected by
the City's credit card processing vendor
Do not use nicknames or an alias. Use the same
spelling as listed on documents related to the case and ensure spelling on the
documents is correct. If they are not, please advise the court
Provide the court with your current address
Appropriate dress is required. No obscene
slogans on clothing, hats. Shirt and shoes are required
CELL PHONES are to be
turned OFF at all times during court
Failure to Appear...
If you fail to appear in court as ordered, the court will issue a
warrant for your arrest and you can be jailed and/or fined. This
applies to summons to appear through charges and subpoenas as well.