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Trial Information
Summons

A citation/summons requires you to appear in person before the Municipal Judge in the Linn County Courthouse, Brookfield Municipal Division located at 108 N. High St. Linneus, MO 64653 on the assigned court date.

Only those violations listed on the Standard Fine and Costs Schedule can be satisfied without a court appearance by signing the back of the citation/summons, signifying a plea of guilty, and full payment of fine and costs. Violations that can be satisfied prior to the court date, a payment envelope is provided by the police officer when the citation/summons is issued. A fine schedule and instructions is included in the envelope. Signed summonses and payment must be received by the Court before the day you are to appear in court or you must appear in court on the date shown on your summons. Please contact the court office if you have any questions: 660-895-5212.

Mandatory Court Appearances


In accordance with either state law or by order of the Municipal Judge, the following ordinance violations cannot be satisfied without a court appearance before the Judge.

  • Violations not listed on the Standard Fine and Costs Schedule
  • Violations involving property damage
  • Violations involving personal injury
  • DWI/BAC and any companion charges
  • Violations involving alcohol/liquor
  • Littering
  • Leaving The Scene of An Accident
  • Speeding In Excess of 26 mph over the legal limit
  • Violation summonses issued by the city’s code enforcement officer

Continuances


You are entitled to one continuance if requested prior to the original court date assigned on your summons/citation. If a defense attorney enters the case, the attorney is also entitled to one continuance. The court clerk is authorized to grant one continuance and will provide you or your attorney with the next available court date.

If the case has already been set for trial when the defense attorney enters the case, the matter remains set for trial. To request a trial date change, the defense attorney is required to contact the prosecutor and Judge directly. No trial date change will be granted through the court office.

If you were served a warrant and assigned a new court date on your bond sheet, you are not entitled to a continuance.

Failure To Appear


Failure to appear in court will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and additional costs being assessed against you. If you were charged with a traffic offense, notice will be sent to the Department of Revenue of failure to appear or pay and your driving privilege will be suspended. Out of state drivers are subject to suspension through the Non-Resident Violator Compact agreement between states.

Arraignment


An arraignment is your first appearance in Municipal Court. When you receive a summons, citation, or a bond sheet, you are given a court date and a time to appear in Municipal Court. When you appear at arraignment, your name will be called by the Judge. When your name is called, approach the bench. The Judge will verify your identity and read the charge that has been filed against you. If you do not understand the charge, ask the Judge to explain it. When the Judge asks you how you plead, you must say either “guilty” or “not guilty”.

If you need more time before entering a plea, you may request a continuance from the Judge.

If you enter a “not guilty” plea because you believe you are not guilty, your case will be “set for trial” on the next available court date.

Guilty / Not Guilty Plea


Plea of Guilty

If you plead guilty, you are admitting to the Judge that you have committed acts which violate a City law. The judge will then decide what penalty will be assessed. At this time, you will have an opportunity to tell the Judge any special circumstances that you believe would lessen the seriousness of the violation. You cannot plead guilty and then state to the Judge that you did not violate the law. After listening to your explanation, the Judge will assess a penalty. Remember, if you plead guilty, the Judge will find you guilty. Explanations offered by you will only affect the penalty. When you plead guilty you will be giving up the following rights:
  • To hire a lawyer to represent you;
  • To have a trial before a court;
  • To testify for yourself;
  • To cross-examine any witnesses that the City may call;
  • and the right to appeal the judgment

Plea of Not Guilty

A plea of not guilty means you believe you have not violated the law. If you plead not guilty, the Judge will set a date for trial. A trial will not be held on your arraignment date as all necessary witnesses will not be present. The trial will be held in the same courtroom.

You do not need to be represented by an attorney if you want to plead not guilty. You may represent yourself at trial. If you plead not guilty but later decide to change your plea to guilty and the charge is not a mandatory appearance, you may sign a guilty waiver and pay the total amount of fine and costs due at the court clerk’s office. If the charge is a mandatory appearance, you must reappear in court before the Judge in order to do so.

Appointment of Counsel


You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you in Municipal Court. However, you are not required to have an attorney. As there is no likelihood of a jail sentence in this court, an appointment of counsel is not an option. You do not have a constitutional right to have an attorney appointed if a jail sentence is not a possible punishment.

Do not contact the Office of the Public Defender as they do not represent individuals in Municipal Court cases.

Subpoena


A subpoena for a witness is a court order which requires the served witness to appear to testify in a case that has been set for trial. Subpoenas are issued through the court clerk’s office.

The Bench Trial


At the trial, the City Prosecutor will first present evidence against you. You will then have the opportunity to tell your side of the story. At the trial, the Prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Prosecutor will call witnesses to testify about the facts alleged in the charge. After each witness has finished answering the Prosecutor’s questions, you or your attorney will have the right to question the witnesses. This is called cross-examination. Cross-examination is not a time when you can testify or argue with the witnesses.

After all 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. You are not required to testify. If you do testify, you may also be questioned by the Prosecutor.

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 and any explanation offered by you during your evidence. If the Judge finds you not guilty, you are free to go.


City of Brookfield • 116 West Brooks St. • Brookfield, MO 64628 • (660) 258-3377 • www.brookfieldcity.com
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