At Trial

Presentation of Evidence

City Prosecutor

  • Will first present evidence against the defendant
  • Will call witnesses to testify about the facts alleged in the charge.
  • Must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Cross Examination

  • After each witness answers the Prosecutor's questions, the defendant or attorney has the right to question the witness.
  • Cross-examination is not a time for the defendant to testify or argue with the witness.


  • Will present evidence in support of his/her defense.
  • May testify and/or call witnesses to testify in support of his/her defense.
  • Is not required to testify as he/she has a constitutional right not to incriminate him/herself.
  • If the defendant does testify, he/she waives the above constitutional right and may be questioned by the Prosecutor

Closing Arguments

  • After all witnesses have testified, each side may give a closing argument.


The Judge will decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, the Judge will assess a punishment considering the seriousness of the offense and any explanation offered during evidence. If the Judge enters a judgment of not guilty, the defendant is free to go.

Right of Appeal/Trial de Novo

If the Judge finds the defendant guilty after trial, he/she has the right to appeal this decision. An appeal is a request for a new trial, called a Trial De Novo.

  • Defendant must tell the Judge or the Municipal Court Clerk of intent to appeal.
  • The application for Trial De Novo should be filed within 10 days; once filed, the case is transferred to the Associate Circuit Court. 
  • Forms are available from the Traffic Violations Bureau, and the clerk will assist with filing the paperwork.
  • A filing fee of $30 is required at the time of filing the appeal.  Payment must be in the form of a Check or Money Order ONLY, payable to the "Associate Circuit Court".
  • If a defendant is unable to pay the filing fee, he/she may request the clerk to proceed as an indigent person.  The clerk will provide the appropriate forms. The inability to pay the filing fee cannot prohibit the defendant from appealing a judgment. 
  • Payment of a portion of the fine or failure to file the application within 10 days forfeits the right to appeal.

Court Clerks are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., to assist with general information.  Court Clerks cannot give legal advice. 

  • Contact Info
  • 2536 Maria Louise Lane Cape Girardeau, MO  63701

  • Telephone 573.339.6323
  • Email [email protected]


Non-Traffic Trials
Tuesday 3 p.m.

Traffic Trials
Thursday 3 p.m.

Dress Code
All court appearances require appropriate court attire.