Trial Cases

The Trial

Under Kansas law, you can be brought to trial only after a complaint or traffic citation has been filed. The complaint or citation is a document which alleges what you are supposed to have done and that your actions are unlawful. You have a right to inspect this complaint before trial and have it read to you at trial. You do not have the right to have your case tried by a jury in Municipal Court. You are entitled to hear all testimony introduced against you. You have a right to testify on your own behalf. You also have a constitutional right not to testify. If you choose not to testify, your refusal cannot and will not be used against you in determining your guilt or innocence; however, if you do choose to testify, the prosecutor will have the right to cross-examine you. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You also have the right to have the Court issue subpoenas for witnesses to ensure their appearance at trial. You must furnish the names, addresses and telephone numbers of these witnesses to the Court as soon as possible so that the witnesses may be located and the subpoenas served. (In all cases, the witnesses must be supplied more than eleven (11) days before the scheduled date of the trial).

Presenting the Case

As in all trials, the City will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. After each prosecution witness has finished his/her testimony, you will have the right to cross-examine him/her. Your examination must be in the form of questions, and you must not argue with the witness. Do not attempt to tell your side of the story at this time. You will have an opportunity to do so later in the trial. After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident. As stated previously, if you desire, you may testify on your own behalf, but you cannot be compelled to do so. It is your own choice, and your silence will not and cannot be used against you. The Judge will base his decision in any case on the City Ordinance involved, on the testimony that sounds most reasonable, and on the facts shown during the trial only. When you testify, try to be fair and calm. Most important, tell the truth and don't try to evade answering any questions.

The Verdict

The verdict of the Judge will be based on the testimony which sounds most reasonable and on the facts presented during the trial. In making the determination, the judge can only consider the testimony of the witnesses who are under oath. If you are found guilty by the Judge, he will announce the penalty at that time. You should be prepared to pay the fine at this time or you may be granted an extension to pay the fine or fourteen (14) days to appeal the ruling of the Judge.

Right to Appeal

If you are not satisfied with the judgment of the Court, you have the right to appeal your case to the Ford County District Court. If you do appeal the Judge's judgment, you must file an Appearance Bond in the office of the Clerk of the District Court by filing a written notice of appeal and paying a filing fee. (This filing fee is set by State statute). The Appeal must be filed within fourteen (14) days from the date of judgment. You will have a complete new trial before a different Judge or jury in the County Court.