YOUR RIGHTS IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF BEL-RIDGE
While in the Courtroom, you are expected to:
- Not talk, make noise or otherwise disrupt Court proceedings.
- Remain seated until your case is called.
- There is no smoking, eating or drinking permitted in the Court room.
- You have the right to plead (1) guilty, (2) guilty with an explanation or (3) not guilty. If you believe that you have not violated the law, you should plead not guilty. If in doubt, or you do not understand the charges, you should plead not guilty. You are not charged additional fees for pleading not guilty.
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney.
- At your first court date, you have the right to request a continuance in order to obtain an attorney. If you desire a continuance, you should request it after your case is called, and before you plead guilty or not guilty.
- If you plead guilty you will be sentenced immediately. You are expected to pay your fines, in full, that evening. There are no payment plans. Payment can be made via cash, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. We do not accept personal checks.
- If you plead guilty with an explanation, you will have the opportunity to explain to the judge any additional information you would like him to consider when sentencing your case.
- If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for trial on a future date. If found guilty you may accept the decision of the Court or appeal your case to the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, where you will have a new trial before a different Judge. The request to appeal must be made within 10 calendar days from the date of the court’s ruling. No extensions can be given. To appeal, there is a $30.00 filing fee, which must be provided in the form of a money order made payable to the Circuit Clerk of St. Louis County.
- If there is anything you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask questions.