The court structure in Kansas consists of four levels and they are the municipal court, district court, the court of appeals and the supreme court. All four levels are important and play slightly different roles depending on the crime.
The municipal court is where people go when they have speeding, stop sign tickets, misdemeanor traffic violations, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving with a suspended license and expired plates. They may also hear animal ordinance public offense cases as well. In municipal court you will have an arraignment where you are able to please guilty, not guilty or no contest. You do have the right to an attorney but this court does not have jury trials. Jail time or fines are usually what happens when you are found guilty.
District courts are created by the Constitution. They are the trial courts of Kansas with jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, including divorce and domestic relations, damage suits, probate and administration of estates, guardianships, conservatorships, care of the mentally ill, juvenile matters, and small claims. It is here that the criminal and civil jury trials are held. Appeals may be taken from the district courts to the Court of Appeals and in some cases to the Supreme Court.
The court of appeals is where you would go after the district court if you are looking to appeal a conviction. The court of appeals judges ordinarily do not conduct trials. They decide an appealed case by reading the trial and written briefs filed by the parties, and hearing arguments by the lawyers. They research and review the law involved in the case and then write an opinion.
The supreme court is often called the court of last resort, because this is the last place to go to try and appeal a conviction. Justices of the Supreme Court ordinarily do not conduct trials. They decide an appealed case by reading the record of the trial and briefs filed by the parties, and hearing... [continues]
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