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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 on the Municipal Court date on which I am scheduled to appear?
The first court date set for your ticket is called an arraignment. You are expected to be in Municipal Court on the date and time set for your case on the ticket. At the arraignment, the Municipal Judge will read you your rights and will read the charges against you. If you plead "guilty", the Municipal Judge will most likely assess a fine at that time. If you plead "not guilty", the Municipal Judge will set the case for a trial date in the near future. At the trial, the City Prosecutor will be required to prove the charges against you. (Again, if you do not appear in Municipal Court on the assigned date, and have not contacted the Municipal Court Clerk's Office to obtain a continuance, you may be charged with "Failure to Appear in Court", a separate crime, and the Municipal Judge may issue a warrant for your arrest.)

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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?