First Time in Court

Appearing in Court

Names appear on the dockets posted outside each courtroom. You are not required to check in prior to your scheduled court appearance. The judge will call your name to see if you are present. Your assigned time is when the session begins.

The length of the session is determined by the number of people also assigned to the same time.

Make sure you understand the Judge's instructions before leaving the courtroom. If you do not understand what was said, ask the judge to explain.

Please note: Your name will be called during the court session. Failure to respond to that call will result in a Bench Warrant being issued for your arrest. Failure to appear for Court will also cause a Bench Warrant to be issued for your arrest.

Dismissals

Under the following circumstances you may be entitled to have your citation dismissed:

Child Passenger Act (Under 4 Years)

  • Transport with no safety restraint - $125
  • With proof restraint system was purchased or acquired - $65

Defects Repaired & Approved by WPD Prior to Suspension Order

This includes:

  • All Muffler Violations
  • Tag Light, Tailight, Headlamp Violations except when written as Lights Required Certain Hrs.
  • All Mirror Violations
  • Defective Windshield

Driver's License

If you are cited for No Drivers License in Possession, the citation may be dismissed if you present proof that you had a valid driver's license on the date of and at the time of the offense.

Liability Insurance

If you are cited for Failure to Present Proof of Insurance, the citation may be dismissed if you present proof that you had valid insurance at the time you were cited.

Right to Counsel & Trial

You are here to answer to a complaint alleging that on a certain date you were in violation of a City of Wichita Ordinance.

You have the right to legal representation by an attorney for any case in Municipal Court. If you face a jail term of 6 months or more, and a judge finds you do not have the financial means to hire an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. You do not have a choice in the selection of the court-appointed attorney. You also have the right to proceed without an attorney and represent yourself or retain your own attorney.

On your first appearance in Court, you may request additional time to consult with an attorney. Upon your request for time to consult with an attorney, the Judge will continue your case to a later date.

If you want a trial and intend to represent yourself, you must sign a form waiving your right to an attorney. At that point, your case will be set for trial. If you desire, you may hire an attorney to represent you.

If you do not want a trial, you may enter a plea at that time, those options are listed on this page under Plea Options.

A City Prosecutor may speak with defendants who are not represented by counsel. This allows the Prosecutor and the defendant to discuss possible resolutions to a pending case.

Prosecutors are not allowed to speak with defendants who are represented by legal counsel.

Your fine and costs are due at the time of sentencing; however, payment options may be available. If payment is not received within 30 days, the unpaid balance will be sent to collection.

Plea Options

Guilty

By pleading guilty you agree that you committed the violation listed in the citation or complaint.

No Contest

A plea of no contest means you do not want to contest the City's charge against you. A plea of no contest is not an admission of guilt. Following a plea of no contest, the judge will enter a finding of guilty and order the appropriate sentence.

Not Guilty

This plea means that you deny any guilt or fault, and the City must prove the charges against you. A trial is scheduled for a later date. The City is required to prove all allegations against you "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Trial

If you plead not guilty, a trial will be scheduled. All trials are presided over by a municipal judge. At the trial, a city prosecutor will call witnesses to testify against you. Many times this is the officer or city staff person who signed the charges against you. Pictures or videos of the violation may also be used as evidence against you. You have the right to cross-examine each witness. Once the prosecution has presented its case, you have the right to present witnesses. If a witness will not testify voluntarily on your behalf, you may have the court issue subpoenas to ensure their appearance at trial. You must provide names, addresses and telephone numbers 21 days in advance. You also have the right to testify on your behalf; however, in doing so the prosecutor has a right to cross-examine you. Choosing not to testify cannot be used against you in determining guilt or innocence. You are presumed innocent. The prosecutor has the sole burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Appeal

If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal the case to the Sedgwick County District Court. You have 14 days after the sentencing to file a formal Notice of Appeal with the Municipal Court.