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Frequently Asked Questions

The material in this question and answer series is for your information only. It is not legal advice and is not designed to be used in place of legal advice. You should consult your own attorney for legal advice. The St. Joseph Legal Department provides this series to provide a general summary of procedures concerning violations of city ordinances in the City of St. Joseph, Missouri. It is issued to inform generally, not to advise of specific rights. As with any general information, the answers given here may not specifically apply to you.
What happens at trial?
You must be present at trial, even if you hire your own attorney. At trial, the City Prosecutor presents evidence first and will call witnesses to present the case against you. The City Prosecutor presents the case by asking the police officers, code enforcement officers, animal control officers and/or other witnesses questions. The answers these witnesses provide in Municipal Court help the Municipal Judge decide whether you committed the violation. At trial, you or your attorney may ask questions of the City Prosecutor's witnesses. You or your attorney may also call witnesses and present evidence in your own defense. You may also testify on your own behalf, if you wish. If you testify, the City Prosecutor may ask you questions about the case. The case you or your attorney presents also helps the Municipal Judge decide whether you committed the violation.

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1. Where is the Court located?
2. What are court hours?
3. Can I change my Court Date?
4. I just got this ticket yesterday, can I pay it now?
5. Do I have to see the Judge?
6. I've become aware that a warrant has been issued for my arrest. What do I need to do to resolve this?
7. I will be in today to pay my fines. Will you take the warrant off?
8. Can I talk to the Judge over the phone?
9. What does “first come, first serve” mean?
10. Can I clear someone else’s warrant?
11. Can I satisfy someone else’s traffic ticket(s)?
12. If I am unable to be in Municipal Court on the date designated, how do I request a continuance?
13. What happens on the Municipal Court date on which I am scheduled to appear?
14. What is an arraignment?
15. What happens if I plead "not guilty" at arraignment?
16. What happens at trial?
17. Can I change my trial date?
18. How do I subpoena witnesses to appear in Municipal Court on my behalf and is there any charge for getting the subpoenas issued?
19. What happens after the trial?
20. How do I obtain a copy of the police report?
21. What does the verdict mean?
22. If I plead "guilty" or am found "guilty" at trial, do I have to pay the fine and Municipal Court costs at that time?
23. When I was arrested, I was required to post a cash bond. How do I get my bond money back?