An arraignment is your first appearance in Municipal Court. When you are given a ticket, you are also given a court date and time to appear in Municipal Court. This court date and time appears on the upper left hand side of your ticket. When you appear at your arraignment, your name will be called by the Judge. When your name is called, approach the bench, keeping your hands at your sides and out of any pockets in clothing. The Judge will verify your identity and read the charge that has been filed against you. If you do not understand the charge, ask the Judge to explain it. When the Judge asks you how you plead, you must say either “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. “No Contest” pleas are not allowed in Missouri courts.

The charge that is filed against you in court may differ from the ticket that you received from the officer. The City Prosecutor, a licensed attorney in the state of Missouri, reviews all charges filed with the court and may amend those charges to more accurately reflect the circumstances surrounding the event.

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