What will happen if I plead not guilty to a municipal violation?
Hello,I was given a derelict vehicle citation. The property is a rental and the vehicle had plates that are less than one year expired. They say they sent me a warning prior to the citation but that was never received and while I doubt it matters I have a recorded conversation with the police offer who admits that it was sent to the wrong address. It was sent a child hood home in the same community but that me nor any of my family owns now.
Additionally, I’m unsure if according to Missouri law if I should have received the citation or my tenant? Lastly, I know it probably doesn’t matter but the brother of the Alderman of this municipality has a junkyard masquerading as a mechanic shop that has many vehicles with tags that are many years expired all around the surrounding house in the neighborhood.
For all of these reasons I refuse to plead guilty to a municipal violation charge for a derelict vehicle. If the car is moved or the plates updated by court what will happen if I plead not guilty to the violation? What could happen if the car is not? I apologize if I gave to much information but I’ve attempted to give everything pertinent.
Thank you very much in advance!
Criminal Defense Lawyer, R. Christopher Simons Answer
It depends on the municipality. Generally what you’ve described is just a fix-it ticket and the judge will dismiss the case if you’ve fixed the problem, but not in every city. If you just plead not-guilty, it will go to trial. You will lose the trial because nothing you just described is a defense in your case. The only possibility is if the warning is required before you can be convicted. However, I cannot explain to you how to use this evidence in a trial. Your best bet is to ask an attorney in that municipality.