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Cass County,


Cass County

Prosecuting Attorney

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.     How do criminal charges get filed?

First, a police report needs to be made with the appropriate law enforcement agency. Law enforcement officers will investigate the case and, if they feel there is sufficient evidence, they will forward the report to our office. The prosecutor assigned to the case will review the report and determine if charges will be filed.

2.     What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is an official court order requiring you to appear at the time and place specified by the subpoena—usually to provide testimony. You should bring your subpoena with you when you appear. If you fail to appear in court as specified on your subpoena, you could be held in contempt of court.

3.     What is a Preliminary Hearing?

A preliminary hearing is to decide whether there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed and that the defendant is the person who probably committed the crime. The suspect and defense attorney will be present, and you may be called to testify. After the prosecutor questions witnesses, they are usually cross-examined by the defense. If the judge determines that there is sufficient evidence, the defendant is bound over and an arraignment date is set in Circuit Court. If the judge decides there is not enough evidence, the case will be dismissed and the defendant discharged.

4.     What if I change my mind about prosecuting or testifying?

The Prosecutor’s Office represents the State of Missouri and determines whether charges will be filed.  Many people incorrectly believe a victim has the power to “press charges” or “drop charges” against the accused. All crimes are considered offenses against the state, not only the victim. Only the Prosecutor’s Office will decide to file or dismiss charges, though the victim's opinion is important in that decision. A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a victim's request not to proceed with prosecution, including the severity of the alleged crime, the extent of the defendant's criminal history and, future danger to the community.

5.     What if someone threatens me to drop the charges?

If anyone has threatened you in connection with the criminal case or pressured you to drop charges, contact law enforcement immediately to file a police report. In addition, you should contact the victim advocate with the Prosecuting Attorney's office after you have made the police report.

6.     What if the defense attorney or someone from that office contacts me about the case?

An attorney or investigator who represents the defendant in this case may contact you. You may speak with them or answer their questions if you choose; however, you have the right to refuse or to request that an attorney from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office be present.

7.     Can I be compensated for losses I have suffered as a victim of crime?

Your insurance company may provide coverage for your personal injury or property loss due to a crime. If the defendant is placed on probation, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to compensate you for your out of pocket injuries, damages, or loss. However, restitution cannot be guaranteed and may not be possible in all circumstances. The Crime Victims' Compensation Fund may cover certain out of pocket losses as a result of personal injury or death. You may also consider pursuing a civil suit to recover damages.

8.     Should I be concerned if months pass without hearing from the court or the prosecuting attorney's office?

Given the large number of pending criminal cases, it does take time for cases to go through the legal process. Please realize that we are continuing to work on your case even if you haven't heard from us and will keep you informed of any changes in the status of the case. Please do not hesitate to contact the Victim Advocate in the Prosecutor’s Office if you have any questions or concerns.

9.     When will I receive my money once restitution has been ordered?

If the defendant is sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution, a payment schedule will be implemented. Payments are made to the Prosecutor’s Office and we will mail the payments directly to the victim. The defendant’s initial payments will go toward court costs and the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund. An order does not guarantee restitution will be paid, but failure to make payments could constitute a violation of the conditions of probation.

10.     If I feel that a crime has been committed, how can I report the crime?

Call 911

11.     I believe my elderly relative is being victimized and/or abused. Who can I contact?

If you believe that an elderly individual is a victim of abuse, call your local police department. For other crimes committed against elderly individuals, such as telephone scams, you may contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Office using their toll free number 1-800-688-9889.

12.     I received a ticket for failure to maintain financial responsibility (no insurance) and I have insurance. What do I need to do?

You may bring to the Prosecutor’s Office proof of your insurance to the attention of the Traffic Division of the Cass County Prosecutor’s office. You should include your agent's name and telephone number, a copy of your ticket (or the ticket number), and a telephone number where you can be reached.

13.     When is my court date?

Missouri Case.Net is the official site for the courts at www.courts.mo.gov/casenet. You may search either by name or case number (ticket number). Upon locating your case through a name or case number search, go to docket entries to search for the court date.

14.     What if my ticket has FCC written on it?

Find the field identified as "Location" on your ticket.

If this field contains FCC, your ticket has been forwarded to the Fine Collection Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. All communication and documentation should be directed to the FCC. They may be contacted at 877-866-3926.


Welcome to Cass County 102 E Wall Street Harrisonville, Missouri 64701