Stolte Law, LLC
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GARDNER MUNICIPAL COURT
The Gardner Municipal Court is located at 120 East Main. A large parking lot is located in the back near the public library. Limited street parking is available in the front of the building. When you walk in, you must check in with one of the clerks in the Municipal Court window. If you do not do this, you will not be in line to speak with the prosecutor or the judge.
In general, you will have three choices regarding an attorney. You can represent yourself. If you do, the judge will require you to formally waive counsel. If you understand that you need an attorney but cannot afford one, the judge will appoint an attorney to you - if certain qualifications are met. Your third choice is to hire a Gardner criminal defense attorney.
The Judge and Prosecutors:
As with many municipal courts, the prosecutors and the judge are part-time employees. This means that the only chance you or your attorney will have to negotiate your case will be on your court date. It is difficult to discuss anything of substance with the prosecutors outside of court as they do not have dedicated offices and do not have your files.
It is risky to speak directly to a prosecutor on your own behalf. The maxim, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” is well-deserved. Keep in mind that the prosecutor’s job is to convict you of a crime. Be careful about what you say, it may be used against you later.
Many people charged with a crime have outstanding warrants. You can check for outstanding Johnson County warrants by going to the Johnson County Sheriff’s website. If you have a warrant from another jurisdiction (County, City, or State), you may be arrested by the Gardner Police Officers at the courthouse. If your warrant is related to your Gardner case, you can ask the judge to quash the warrant.
It is always best to turn yourself in if you have an outstanding warrant. Doing so will avoid unnecessary embarrassment and allows you to plan for your release by setting up a bondsman ahead of time.
Most cases at the Gardner city court are set for 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This will be when you have the opportunity to speak with the prosecutor. If you need to see the judge to sign up for diversion or probation, for a motions hearings, or for a trial, you will see her around 4:30 p.m. If you have any questions about your next court date, you should review your ticket or the notice to appear. If all else fails, contact your attorney or the court clerk.
The City of Gardner has jurisdiction to prosecute traffic violations, misdemeanor charges, and city code violations. Felony charges that arise within Gardner are handled at the Johnson County District Court in Olathe. Most criminal cases in Gardner are first or second DUI’s, thefts from Wal-Mart, driving while suspended, traffic infractions, domestic battery, and possession of marijuana or paraphernalia.
Because of the short period of time you have with the prosecutor and judge to make a good impression, it is a good idea to wear your Sunday best to court. If you are coming straight from work, clean up as much as you can. In short, you should avoid wearing t-shirts, shorts, and hats.
Make sure your cellphone is turned off. Stand when the judge enters the courtroom. And, do not talk while court is in session.
If you are unhappy with the results of your Gardner municipal criminal case, you have the right to appeal. Contact an experienced appellate attorney who focuses on criminal appeals as certain time limitations and appellate bond conditions will apply. Your appeal will be heard at the Johnson County District Court. In Kansas, an appeal from a municipal court will result in a new trial, hearing, and presentation of evidence.