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Trial Procedure

Judge's Trial Procedure Statement

The city is required to present evidence that the defendant was in violation of the city ordinance prior to the defendant presenting any evidence.

The city will call their first witness and will ask questions necessary to bring out all the facts the witness has knowledge of concerning the case. After the city attorney has asked questions, the defendant will have a right to cross-examine the witness. During cross-examination, the defendant may not testify or argue with the witness. At that time the defendant may only ask questions to elicit answers from the witness. The defendant may only ask for information which deals with the issues of the violation of the ordinance. After the defendant has completed his examination and the city has completed its examination of the first witness, the city will call their next witness. The same procedure as to examination is followed with all of the witnesses called by the city.

After the city has called all their witnesses they will rest their case. At that time the defendant has a right to present evidence. He may call witnesses and if so, he will examine them first and the city attorney will have the right to cross-examine them after the defendant's examination. During the defendant's examination of the witness, his questions need to be stated in such a way that the witness will give the facts in his answer.

The defendant may also testify although he is not required to do so and it will not be held against him if he decides not to testify. If the defendant testifies, he will tell what happened in his own words. The city attorney will have the right to cross examine him and he is required to answer the city attorney's questions.

After the defendant has completed his case and the city has completed their case, the court will make a decision. If the defendant is found not guilty, the case is over and the defendant's appearance bond will be refunded. If the defendant is found guilty, the court will assess punishment not to exceed the maximum authorized under the city ordinance plus court costs.

If the defendant is found guilty, he has a right to appeal and receive a new trial. In order to appeal, the defendant must post an appeal bond as set by the court. The defendant will then have a new trial before a district judge who will make a determination of his innocence or guilt. In a new trial the judge will make a finding on what is presented and is not bound by any finding of the Municipal Court. If the defendant is found innocent, his appeal bond will be refunded and the case is over. If the defendant is found guilty, the district judge will set the fine and costs. The amount of fine and costs may be more or may be less than what the Municipal Court imposes. From a finding of guilty in the second trial, the defendant has a right to appeal on the record to the Court of Criminal Appeals.