Court Process

Under Kansas law, a person can be brought to trial only after a complaint or traffic citation has been filed. The complaint or citation is a document that outlines what the individual is charged with and states that the action is unlawful. As a defendant, you have a right to inspect the complaint or citation before trial and have it read to you.

As a defendant, or person charged with a violation, the process you must go through involves the subject below:
  1. Arraignment
  2. Plea Agreement
  3. Trial
  4. Sentencing
  5. Appealing a Conviction
  6. Expungement
Arraignment is the term used for the time scheduled for a defendant to appear in court to enter a plea.

At the arraignment you will be given an opportunity to enter a plea. If you signed a traffic ticket in front an officer, it does not mean you have entered a plea; it means you have promised to appear.

You may enter a plea of:
  • Guilty: You admit to committing the offense you were charged with, that the act was unlawful, and that you have no defense for the act. In most minor traffic cases, a guilty plea and fine will be accepted through the mail or via our web site.
  • Not Guilty: You deny guilt and the City must prove in trial that the charges against you are true beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • No Contest: You do not wish to contest the City's charges against you. Upon a plea of no contest, the judge will enter a finding of guilty and order a fine, jail time or other sentence. A plea of no contest is not an admission of fault and cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damages.
The Right to an Attorney
In all Municipal Court cases, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. When charged with an offense that may result in jail time, you must decide whether to proceed with or without an attorney. If you want an attorney but cannot afford to hire one, the judge will appoint an attorney after finding that you do not have the financial means to hire one.