The City of Wichita Municipal Court is the largest limited jurisdiction court in the state of Kansas that adjudicates violations of the City Code. Municipal court cases are commonly misdemeanor offenses such as drug violations, petit theft, prostitution, domestic violence, and driving under the influence.
The City of Wichita Municipal Court has five judges, all appointed by the City Council. Convictions for certain violations of the City Code can be punishable by terms of imprisonment as well as fines.
If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or received a ticket for any violation of the City Code in Wichita or the surrounding areas, you should avoid saying anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact Pratt Law, LLC as soon as possible.
When you retain Pratt Law, LLC as your lawyer, I can work to protect your rights and minimize the consequences. Call (316) 262-2600 or contact me online to receive a free consultation to discuss your case.
What the Municipal Court Does
Municipal courts handle violations of city ordinances committed within city limits, and the most common kinds of cases are traffic violations. Some of the most common violations of the Wichita Code of Ordinances include, but are not limited to:
- Purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages by a minor, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 4.04.017— Violation by a person 18 years of age or older but less than 21 years of age is a misdemeanor punishable by fine of $200 up to $500 and/or up to 30 days imprisonment. Violation by a person less than 18 years of age is punishable by a fine of $200 up to $500.
- Furnishing alcohol to minors, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 4.04.025— Violation punishable by fine of $200 up to $1,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
- Consumption and possession of alcoholic liquor and cereal malt beverages in public places, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 4.04.025 — Violation punishable by fine of $50 up to $200 and/or six months imprisonment.
- Ethnic intimidation or bias crimes, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 5.01.010 — Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by fine of $250 up to $2,500 and/or one year imprisonment.
- Cruelty to animals, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 6.04.035 — Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or 12 months imprisonment.
- Permitting a dangerous animal to be at large, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 6.04.058 — Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
- Animal bite violations, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 6.04.060 — First conviction punishable by a fine of at least $250, second conviction punishable by a fine of at least $500, third or subsequent punishable by a fine of at least $1,000, and Municipal Court Judge can impose a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Violations of duty to give information and render aid for attended vehicle or property or duty upon striking unattended vehicle or property, Wichita Code of Ordinances § 11.12.090 — Violation of Chapter 11 punishable by a fine of upto $2,500 and/or up to one year imprisonment.
Other common municipal code violations can include alleged improper dumping of refuse, parking issues relating to property, or possible building code violations.
First Appearance in Municipal Court
When you are appearing in the Municipal Court for the first time, your name will appear on the docket posted outside the courtroom and a judge will call your name to ensure you are present. The number of people on your docket will dictate when your case will be called.
You have the right to retain legal counsel for any Municipal Court case. When you are facing a possible term of imprisonment that is at least six months, the court will appoint an attorney for you if you do not have the financial means to pay for legal representation.
You generally have three plea options in the Municipal Court: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. People who are charged with specific offenses can have their citations dismissed if they have complied with specific directives.
For example, a Failure to Present Proof of Insurance citation can be dismissed if you present proof that you had valid insurance at the time you were cited and a No Driver's License in Possession citation can be dismissed if you demonstrate that you had a valid driver's license on the date and time of the offense. All muffler violations, mirror violations, defective windshield, and certain tag light, tail lights, and headlamp violations can be dismissed when people get the defects repaired and approved prior to suspension orders.
Municipal Court Processes
You have 10 days from the date you receive a citation to schedule a court hearing. Failure to respond within 10 days may lead to additional fees, possibile drivers' license suspension, and a warrant being issued for your arrest.
To resolve a citation warrant (CIT), you can pay the citation in full, set the citation for court, or set up a payment plan. To resolve an outstanding bench warrant (CBW), you will have to use the walk-in docket or contact the Warrant Office.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Municipal Court
What can I do if I need more time to pay a citation or fine?
You could be eligible for a one-time, 30-day extension for paying a traffic or parking citation, but the extension can involve an additional fee. When you need more time to pay, you can visit the Court Clerk's office to schedule a payment plan that is available for any payable case not referred to collections.
What are Diversion-Deferred Judgment Programs?
The City of Wichita has a criminal deferred judgment program for first time offenders, and a person may be eligible if they have not been convicted of the same crime or a similar crime within five years of offense and they have not participated in a Diversion or Deferred Judgment Program for a similar offense within five years of offense.
A person must apply for the Criminal Deferred Judgment within 30 days of their initial court appearance and pay a $25 non-refundable application fee. If an application for the Deferred Judgment is accepted, the alleged offender must enter a plea of guilty and the City will ask the Court to defer judgment and sentence on that plea for a period of up to one year.
The alleged offender must pay all fines, waive their constitutional rights to an arraignment and jury trial, successfully complete treatment set out by the Deferred Judgment Agreement, make full restitution to the victim, violate no laws, and abide by any additional restrictions imposed by the City Attorney.
Can I challenge the decision in a Municipal Court case?
Yes. You have the right to appeal your case to the District Court of the Eighteenth Judicial District, where your case may be tried before a District Court Judge and before a jury. You have 14 days from the date of your Municipal Court conviction to appeal.
Municipal Courts Where We Can Represent You
Andover Municipal Court
1609 E. Central
Andover, KS 67002
Clearwater Municipal Court
129 E. Ross
Clearwater, KS 67026
Derby Municipal Court
229 N. Baltimore
Derby, KS 67037
Garden Plain Municipal Court
507 N. Main St.
Garden Plain, KS 67050
Haysville Municipal Court
200 W. Grand
Haysville, KS 67060
City of Maize Municipal Court
10100 W Grady Ave.
Maize, KS 67101
Newton Municipal Court
201 E. 6th St.
Newton, KS 67114
Rose Hill Municipal Court
125 W Rosewood St.
Rose Hill, KS 67133
Wellington Municipal Court
317 S. Washington Ave
Wellington, KS 67152
Winfield Municipal Court
200 E. 9th Ave.
Winfield, KS 67156
City of Wichita Municipal Court
455 N. Main St.
Wichita, KS 67202
Contact a Municipal Court Defense Lawyer
Were you recently arrested for an alleged violation of the City Code in Wichita? Our team is ready to listen to you and present your side of the story in Municipal Court.
Our team has extensive experience with violations of the city's ordinance codes, and we can help you understand your rights and take action to protect yourself against fines and other penalties. We can help you understand all of your legal options when you call (316) 262-2600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.