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MO law expands drug treatment court to more of the state

A bill that expands the reach of drug treatment courts in the state of Missouri recently was passed in the State General Assembly. Now those who suffer from substance abuse will have more options.

The bill was passed by the lawmakers and signed by the governor. It consolidates Missouri’s treatment courts – adult treatment court, DWI court, family treatment court, juvenile treatment court, and veterans treatment court. It also updates state statute to reflect the reality of the treatment court system today.

One important part of the bill is that it expands treatment courts to counties that don’t have them because of the cost to operate them. Now, a person in a county that does not have treatment court can be transferred to a court that offers treatment court as long as all parties agree to the transfer. The bill also sets standards of best practices for treatment courts throughout the state.

Advocates of the program emphasize that this is not a “get out of jail free card” program. The treatment program generally takes two years and requirements participants to meet plenty of requirements, such as obtaining employment or completing an education, staying clean with frequent random drug testing, and attending treatment meetings.

The governor also signed legislation that helps encourage students to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Another bill also passed sets out to bring more awareness to domestic violence, and will allow victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, human trafficking or stalking to better keep their personal addresses confidential from the public’s access. The state’s office will provide a designated substitute address for survivors to use when creating new public records, as well as the option to securely forward mail to their confidential addresses. The hope is that this will keep survivors’ confidential addresses out of the hands of their assailants.

All in all, the recent General Assembly passed several helpful laws that will help those in need.

Warson Woods Municipal Court

Warson Woods Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Warson Woods, MO Traffic Court
Warson Woods Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Warson Woods, Missouri?
Warson Woods issued 123 tickets in 2017.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Warson Woods traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.
Warson Woods Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense
Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Warson Woods?

This page contains Court information and links for Warson Woods, Missouri.

Warson Woods Municipal Court
424 N. Sappington Rd
Warson Woods, MO 63122

Phone: 314-906-3003
Fax: 314-965-2912

City of Warson Woods, MO website. Check the website to find a list of fines.

Presiding Judge
Hon. John P. Lord, III

Court Administrator
Cassy Kollmeyer

Prosecuting Attorney
Joseph D. McAuliffe

Court Hours
Monday-Thursday
7:00am – 3:00pm

Court is held every other month on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm.

Payments can be made online at www.ipaycourt.com/warsonwoods

Webster Groves Municipal Court

Webster Groves Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Webster Groves, MO Traffic Court
Webster Groves Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Webster Groves, Missouri?

In 2017, Webster Groves Municipal Court issued 5,156 tickets.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Webster Groves traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Webster Groves Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Webster Groves?
Our Webster Groves traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.
Let our Webster Groves traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for Webster Groves, Missouri.

Webster Groves Municipal Court
#4 E. Lockwood
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Phone: 314-963-5416
Fax: 314-963-7561

City of Webster Groves, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. James Whitney
Prosecuting Attorney
Jennifer Deschamp

Court Hours
Monday-Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm
Municipal Court is generally conducted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, #4 East Lockwood, Webster Groves, Missouri, 63119.

For security purposes, those attending Court must enter through the front doors. If you require use of the accessible entrance, have someone in your party contact the officer stationed at the front door or use the call button on the east side of the building at the Police Department entrance. Americans with Disabilities Act Notice

Bellefontaine Neighbors Municipal Court

Bellefontaine Neighbors Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO Traffic Court
Bellefontaine Neighbors Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri?

In 2017, Bellefontaine Neighbors Municipal Court issued 569 tickets.
Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Bellefontaine Neighbors traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Bellefontaine Neighbors Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Bellefontaine Neighbors?
Our Bellefontaine Neighbors traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.
Let our Bellefontaine Neighbors traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri.

Bellefontaine Neighbors Municipal Court
9641 Bellefontaine Rd
Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO 63137

Phone: 314-867-0076
Fax: 314-867-1790

City of Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. John Duepner
Court Administrator
Alysa Stewart

Municipal Court convenes at 6:30pm on the second Wednesday of each month in the Courtroom, located at 9641 Bellefontaine Road. Doors to City Hall open at 5:30pm. Cases are heard on a first-come, first-served basis. The Judge will call defendants in the order they have entered the Courtroom. Any payment is expected at the time of court appearance.

DAY COURT
Municipal Court will also convene at 1:00pm on the third Wednesday of each month in the Courtroom. Doors to the Courtroom will open at 12:30pm. Attorney call will be at 1:00pm. Day court will cover Housing cases, Trials, Bond Forfeitures, and DWI’s.

RULES OF COURT:
Appropriate dress is required
All Defendants, under the age of 18, must appear with a parent or legal guardian
All electronic devices must be turned off

FEE SCHEDULE (Dated 01/2016)

MUNICOURT.NET: You can track your case or check on court/payment dates. https://www.municourt.net

O’Fallon Municipal Court

O’Fallon Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
O’Fallon, MO Traffic Court
O’Fallon Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in O’Fallon, Missouri?
In 2017, O’Fallon Municipal Court issued 8,052 tickets.

Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our O’Fallon traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

O’Fallon Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in O’Fallon?
Our O’Fallon traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.
Let our O’Fallon traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for O’Fallon, Missouri.

O’Fallon Municipal Court
1019 Bryan Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636-240-8766
Fax: 636-379-5415

City of O’Fallon, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. Dennis R. Chassanoil, II

Court Administrator
Jeff Chapple

Prosecuting Attorney
Vincent Johnson

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:30 pm excluding Holidays

Court times
Court is held four to five times each month, two Monday evenings at 5 p.m. and one or two Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. To see a schedule of court dates click on the link below. Proper attire is required. No Shorts, Halter Tops, or Tank Tops allowed in the courtroom. Cell Phones will not be allowed in the courtroom.

Defendants are responsible for being on time and present in court when their cases are called. Those who are not could have a warrant issued for their arrest for failing to appear for the hearing.

 

Kansas City Municipal Court

Kansas City Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Kansas City, MO Traffic Court
Kansas City Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Kansas City, Missouri?

In 2017, Kansas City Municipal Court issued 62,191 tickets. Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Crestwood traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Kansas City  Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Kansas City?
Our Kansas City traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.

Let our Kansas City traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City Municipal Court
511 E. 11th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816-513-5700
Fax: 816-513-6782

City of Kansas City, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. Keith R. Ludwig

Court Administrator
Megan Pfannenstiel

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00 pm excluding Holidays

Court times

Our courtroom docket times are 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The Court recommends you arrive 30 to 45 minutes before your scheduled hearing to allow enough time to go through security. Defendants are responsible for being on time and present in court when their cases are called. Those who are not could have a warrant issued for their arrest for failing to appear for the hearing.

For information or to pay your ticket, click here.

Click the link for appropriate Court Etiquette. 

Courtroom A – Judge Ardie A. Bland
Mental Health Court: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Veterans Treatment Court: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Courtroom B – Presiding Judge Keith R. Ludwig
Courtroom C – Judge Martina L. Peterson
Courtroom D – Judge Corey A. Carter
Truancy Court: Tuesdays at 9 a.m.
Courtroom E – Judge Courtney A. Wachal
Domestic Violence Court: Monday – Friday at 9:00 a.m.
Courtroom F – Judge Anne J. LaBella
Drug Court: Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Courtroom G – Judge Katherine B. Emke
Courtroom H – Judge Joseph H. Locascio
Courtroom I – Judge Todd D. Wilcher
Housing Court: Monday all day; Tuesday – Thursday at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Animal Violations: Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Fire Code Violations: Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

 

Literal compliance with filing rules for Breathalyzer unnecessary

A recent Eastern District of Missouri appellate decision appears to be pro-law enforcement.

The trial court concluded the blood alcohol content results were inadmissible because the officer had not filed a copy of the maintenance report of the breathalyzer with the DHSS, as it is required under 19 CSR 25-30.031(3). The breathalyzer determines whether someone exceeded the allowed drinking amount by taking the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The trial court thereby reinstated the driving privileges of a man in St. Charles County. The Department of Revenue then appealed the decision.

The appellate court reversed and remanded, stating that the trial court was in error, and that absolute and literal compliance with the filing requirement in that regulation is not required because it was a collateral issue that did not affect the performance or validity of the breath test. As a maintenance report was done, the fact that it wasn’t filed with the DHSS was ancillary.

The case was Gerald R. Roam v. Department of Revenue. The opinion was written by Judge Robert G. Dowd, Jr.. Judges J. Philip J. Hess, P.J. and Mary K. Hoff, J., concurred. The attorney for the Appellant was Morgan Brewington, and attorney for Respondent was Robert S. Adler.

The court wrote: “In spite of the established case law, Roam insists that the Director must demonstrate “absolute and literal compliance” with this DHSS regulation before the BAC results can be admitted into evidence, and the trial court seems to have agreed. Besides being in conflict with the above law, our courts have specifically rejected this proposition as well. In Potts v. State, the court held instead that the Director must only demonstrate absolute and literal compliance with those regulations “governing the actual performance” of the maintenance check and not with those regulations “governing collateral issues which do not affect the actual performance or validity of the test itself.” 22 S.W.3d 226, 230 (Mo. App. W.D. 2000) (emphasis added). Potts determined that the requirement for filing a copy of the maintenance report with DHSS is a collateral issue that does not affect the performance or validity of the breath test. Id. at 231. Roam has failed to adequately address, much less distinguish, Turcotte, Potts or any of the above precedent. Instead, he stated in his brief that the trial court had Turcotte before it, knew the law and is presumed to have followed it. But clearly the court did not follow the law. It was error not to admit the BAC results on the ground that the maintenance report had not been filed with DHSS. Therefore, we must reverse and remand.”

A call to put teeth back into enforcing traffic violations

Did the 2015 municipal court reforms for traffic violations go too far?

That is the subject of a great editorial by the Kansas City Star a few weeks ago talking about how too many people with traffic tickets are not paying their fines and are getting away with it. Since the state-wide municipal court reform after the Ferguson uprising, there doesn’t seem to be any punishment for not paying fines and not showing up to court.

In many communities, traffic violators have figured out that they don’t need to show up to court because the effective tools of punishment such as higher fines, warrants for not showing up to court, or suspending a person’s license is not an option.

Maximum fines were lowered from $500 to $225. Many cities coffers are severely depleted and are finding it difficult to impossible to enforce law violators without an adequate budget. This has also carried over to enforcement of residential nuisance ordinances that are designed to keep housing safe, particularly with abandoned properties.

For example, one person who didn’t show up to court in a town near Kansas City had been arrested four times for a $450 ticket from 2015 for driving with no insurance and driving with a suspended license. She still hasn’t paid, and likely never will.

One judge was quoted as saying, “These people just continue to drive, except they don’t drive to court.”

One state senator tried to pass a bill to put some teeth back into law enforcement. His idea was that if a citizen fails to show up for a court date, a judge could order community service, issue a civil fine or put a hold on a driver’s license.

The editorial calls for Missouri to revisit its 2015 reforms with the goal of restoring some authority to its municipal courts to better find a balance between being overbearing on constituency and effectively punishing and enforcing our traffic laws. Because as the editorial states, “As of now, they’ve been effectively defanged.”

Out-of-state DWI’s can be used to elevate a DWI to a felony

Interesting case here from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. It is a good example of how the court analyzes out of state DWI related convictions to determine whether they are the equivalent of a Missouri DWI conviction. This is important when it comes to using the out of state DWI convictions to charge an individual with a higher charge under the Chronic Offender statute.

In Missouri, four prior of intoxication-related traffic offenses (“IRTOs”) means the state can charge you with chronic offender status, thereby making it a felony a Class B felony.

The Prosecution admitted evidence of six previous occasions of IRTOs from Arkansas. Defendant appeals the admission of four of these previous IRTOs.

The court found two of the underlying charges to be distinguishable from the ruling in the case of State v. Coday, 496 S.W.3d 572 (Mo. App. 2016), which did not find IRTO convictions in Kansas, because they failed to meet Missouri’s evidentiary standards for a DWI. Kansas Law punishes persons operating or attempting to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. In order to use an IRTO out of Kansas, there must be evidence that the individual was convicted of operating a motor vehicle as required for a Missouri DWI.

In this case, two of the underlying charges were municipal ordinance violations. The record did not provide the wording of these municipal ordinance. The court held: “Moreover, “a judgment that, on its face, shows a guilty plea or a finding of guilt of an [IRTO] can be treated as a prior conviction for purposes of enhancement under § 577.023.” Craig, 287 S.W.3d at 681–82 . . . Stated another way, we cannot say here that it was unreasonable for the trial court to infer that a conviction for “driving while intoxicated” was a conviction for driving while intoxicated.”

While, two of the proffered charges may have been thrown out following the ruling in Coday as the statute provided for operate or be in physical control. The court already had 4 prior IRTOs so it declined to make a decision.

Bottom line, if you have previous DWIs in another state, make sure you present the wording of the statute or ordinance in order to exclude the IRTOs as not complying with Missouri Law.

MO AG data finds black population more likely to be stopped

The Missouri state attorney general’s office issued a report on the number of traffic stops made in the state and of the racial/ethnic background of the people pulled over.

This report summarizes the data from 606 law enforcement agencies in Missouri for calendar year 2017.

The data represents 97.6% of the 677 law enforcement agencies in the state. The agencies filing reports recorded a total of 1,541,755 vehicle stops, resulting in 99,441 searches and 73,193 arrests.

The analysis of data uses a disparity-index. According to the report, a disparity index value above 1 indicates that a group accounts for a higher proportion of traffic stops than its percentage of the population alone would predict. And a disparity-index value below 1 indicates that a group accounts for a lower proportion of traffic stops than its percentage of the population alone would predict. For example, the 1,189,744 Whites drivers who were stopped accounted for 77.2% of all traffic stops in 2017. Whites comprise an estimated 82.8% of Missouri’s driving age population. The disparity-index value for Whites is, therefore, .93 (i.e., .772/.828). Whites drivers were stopped, in other words, at slightly below the rate expected based on their fraction of the driving-age population from the 2010 Census.

The results were not the same for several of the other groups. The report states that African-Americans represent 10.9% of the driving-age population but 18.7% of all traffic stops, for a disparity-index value of 1.72. African-Americans were stopped at a rate 72% greater than expected based solely on their proportion of the driving-age population. Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and persons of mixed or unknown race were stopped at rates well below their proportion of the driving-age population. The values on the disparity index for the different groups can be compared directly to one another. For example, the rate at which African-American motorists were stopped is 1.85 times that of the rate at which White motorists were stopped (i.e., 1.72/.93). In other words, accounting for their respective proportions of Missouri’s driving-age population, African-Americans were stopped at a rate 85% higher than Whites.