- Court Process
This information should not be construed as providing legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact an attorney. Basehor court clerks, judges, and prosecutors cannot give legal advice.
If any of the violations you are charged with are considered Class A or B misdemeanors, and you were not formally arrested or taken to jail at the time of the offense, then you will need to be fingerprinted. After speaking with the Judge, you will be asked to step aside and wait to be fingerprinted. If unable to be fingerprinted on your scheduled court date you will be required to contact the Basehor Police Department to arrange a time to be fingerprinted.
Your first appearance is called an “arraignment”.
- You will be advised of the charges pending and given the opportunity to enter a plea.
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney.
- If the charges against you could result in jail time as a possible punishment, if you are found guilty, you will be asked if you will be hiring an attorney to represent you, applying for a court-appointed attorney, or waiving your right to an attorney and representing yourself.
- If you want to apply for a court-appointed attorney, you will fill out a financial affidavit when you appear in court to determine if you qualify for the appointment of counsel.
- If you choose to waive your right to an attorney, you will be required to complete and sign a written waiver of counsel the that Judge will provide to you.
- You will be given the opportunity to discuss your charges with the prosecutor and receive a plea offer, provided you are not represented by counsel.
ENTERING A PLEA
If you signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, you only signed a promise to appear on the appearance date.
At the beginning of each court session, the Municipal Court Judge will explain the three possible pleas:
- "Not Guilty"
- "No Contest"
Your decision on what plea you enter is the most important decision that you will have to make. We suggest if you are unsure of how you wish to plea, that you review the explanation of the three plea options.
EXPLANATION OF YOUR PLEA
By a plea of Guilty, you admit you committed the act charged, the act is prohibited by law and you have no defense for your act. Before entering a plea of guilty you need to understand the following:
The City has the burden of proving its case against you. You have the right to hear the City’s evidence and to require the City to prove its case when you go to trial.
If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of the alleged offense, your plea of guilty could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission by you that you were at fault or were the party responsible for the accident.
A plea of Not Guilty means you are informing the Court you deny the charges against you. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether to employ an attorney to represent you at trial. You may defend yourself, but no one else except an attorney may represent you. If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian should be present. If you defend yourself, please consult the Steps in a Trial page and the manner of Presenting Your Case shown below.
A plea of No Contest simply means you are informing the Court you deny charges against you, but you wish to talk to the Judge about mitigating circumstances. Judgment will be entered by the Judge and some penalty will be set. A plea of No Contest cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damages. Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On a plea of "Not Guilty" a trial is held and the City is required to prove all the allegations against you as contained in the formal complaint "beyond a reasonable doubt" before a verdict of guilty can be reached.