Criminal Prosecutions in Marion County
How a Criminal Case Proceeds Through Our Office
The screening and charging process is initiated when an agency sends a report to our office for review. There are a number of agencies that submit reports to our office, however, most reports are sent by the city police departments, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Once the report is received by this office, it is routed to a data entry department where it is entered into the case management system. Most cases are then assigned to one of the prosecutors. At that point, the case will be designated as “under advisement”. That status will remain unchanged until the assigned prosecutor makes a charging decision. Our goal is to review cases the same day that we receive them, however, it is sometimes necessary to send cases back to a submitting agency for further investigation. If one of the prosecutors decides to file felony charge, an arrest warrant will normally be issued. If the case is a misdemeanor, a summons will generally be mailed to the defendant. Once the case is actually filed, the Marion County Circuit Clerk’s Office will assign a case number to the case.
If the case is a felony, the case will be assigned to a prosecutor in the office. That person will be primarily responsible for monitoring the case as it proceeds through the court system. The assigned prosecutor may handle all the important stages of the process including the preliminary hearing, bond hearings, the guilty plea hearing and sentencing. If the case goes to trial, the assigned prosecutor will be responsible for preparing the case. The assigned prosecutor is also authorized to extend offers and enter into plea negotiations with the defense attorney handling the case.
If the case is a misdemeanor, the case will again be assigned to a prosecutor in the office. However, the case will generally be handled at most stages by the assistant that is assigned to court on the day that action is taking place on the case.