Pretrial Services

The Pretrial Office works to administer justice, make our communities safer and bring about long-term positive change in the individuals we serve. We accomplish this through providing the court with thorough, accurate and objective information upon which to base bond and sentencing decisions. The office seeks to help people meet their needs and succeed through access to community resources during pretrial release while also prioritizing the safety and well-being of victims and the community.

Through collaboration within the justice system and community stakeholders, the office works to decrease the odds of future stays in jail or prison—ultimately freeing up resources that can be invested in our communities. Through a framework of services for that foster community safety and well-being, the office employs strategies aimed at eliminating racial, ethnic, gender and economic disparities.

What happens during the pretrial stage of criminal case

The process of arrest and incarceration can be distressing and confusing for those facing charges as well as their loved ones. The following is an overview of what happens from arrest to case disposition (Note: processes and experiences vary. This is a general description of what can be expected.)

What happens between arrest and first appearance
Within hours of arrest, pretrial staff see those arrested in the justice center and ask if they consent to a bond interview. This interview is voluntary but provides the court with vital information that helps determine if people are likely to appear for future court dates and if they would be a potential threat to the community if released. All information collected is confidential and used only for court-related purposes. Regardless of interview consent, pretrial staff are required to share the criminal background check of arrested people with the court.

According the Missouri Supreme Court Rule 33, a person facing criminal charges must make an initial appearance before a judge within 48 hours. The 22nd Judicial Circuit provides contract attorneys to represent individuals who have not yet had an attorney enter in the case. The appointed contract attorney will see the person facing charges to discuss the case briefly, as well as any relevant information concerning community ties and responsibilities. Pretrial staff also meet with people facing charges to provide information about applying for a public defender.

At an initial appearance, the court decides whether bond will be granted to an individual. If bond if not granted, that individual will have a detention hearing in seven business days. The case will then proceed through the legal process.

Bonding process_ENLARGED

Information on release options and resources is available here.