After you have received your citation and have been advised of the possible penalties, you will be presented options for resolving your case. These are usually discussed with you during a conference with a City Prosecutor. Options may vary based on a number of factors, which include; defendant’s age, whether there were victims, the severity of the offense charged, personal criminal history, and any other factor the Prosecutor deems important. These options frequently require entering a plea to the Court.
A plea to charges means stating: Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest.
- Not Guilty, you are informing the Court that you deny the charge, or that you have a viable defense, or that you invoke your constitutional right to have the City prove its allegations through a formal trial to the judge.
Under our American system of justice, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In all court cases, you have a right to an attorney. If you are representing yourself at trial (pro se) you should be prepared to present your case in the proper manner. It is not the Court’s duty or responsibility to protect, instruct, or educate you on court procedures, evidence, rules, or how to present and prove your case. If you are unprepared, unaware, or not knowledgeable as to presenting your case, you may lose your case.
There may be evidence (reports, video, audio, photographs, or other physical evidence) associated with your case that is held by the Police Department.
- If you wish to view evidence prior to trial, the prosecutor will give you a form, and you must file a request for discovery with the Police Department.
- Discoverable evidence will be made available to you; there are fees assessed to you when obtaining discovery.
At the trial, the prosecutor will begin by calling witnesses to testify against you. After each prosecution witness testifies, you have a right to cross-examine each witness.
- Your cross examination must be in the form of questions; you are not allowed to argue with a witness. This is not the time for you to tell your side of the story. That opportunity comes later in the trial.
After the prosecution has presented its case, you have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident and present any other relevant evidence you wish.
- You have the right to have the court issue subpoenas for witnesses to ensure their appearance at trial; however, service of subpoenas for your witness is your responsibility.
- You have a right to present evidence. All evidence must be presented according to K.S.A. Ch. 60, Art. 4.
- You have the right to testify, and you have constitutional right not to testify. Choosing not to testify will not be used against you in determining guilt or innocence; however, if you do testify, the prosecutor will have the right to cross examine you.