☰ Revisor of Missouri


Effective - 27 Feb 1945, see footnote    bottom

  I Section 18(a).  Rights of accused in criminal prosecutions. — That in criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend, in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf; and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county.


Source: Const. of 1875, Art. II, § 22.


(1952) Where defendant was released from imprisonment in penitentiary on habeas corpus over nineteen years after original commitment because failure to have been provided counsel, his subsequent trial on same charge did not offend against constitutional guaranty of speedy trial. State v. Hadley (Mo.), 249 S.W.2d 857.

(1952) Where defendant announced that he understood the charge against him and that he would represent himself and when court later requested an attorney to sit in and assist defendant, defendant stated he still did not think he needed a lawyer, a contention that defendant was not accorded counsel and that counsel was not given an opportunity to prepare defense, was overruled. State v. Hurley (Mo.), 251 S.W.2d 617.

(1953) Where accused was arrested at midnight, arraigned at 9:00 a.m. the following morning and pleaded guilty without record showing opportunity to consult with counsel, he should be released from incarceration under sentence but should be rearraigned on charge. Ex parte Stone (A.), 255 S.W.2d 155.

(1954) Where defendant's counsel withdrew after verdict and defendant had no attorney to file a motion for a new trial, it could not be said his constitutional rights were violated in absence of showing of error in trial. State v. Mischanko (Mo.), 272 S.W.2d 210.

(1955) Admission of prosecutor's testimony as to what he did after he questioned alleged coconspirator in robbery prosecution and its emphasis in argument by prosecutor to jury held prejudicially erroneous as involving the denial of accused's right to meet witnesses against him face to face. State v. Chernick (Mo.), 280 S.W.2d 56.

(1956) Defendant is not entitled to more than one court appointed attorney and trial court has discretion as to whether more than one shall be appointed. State v. Lord (Mo.), 286 S.W.2d 737.

(1958) In prosecution for stealing under habitual criminal law, where certified record of the state penitentiary contained notations of defendant's imprisonment in two other states and also that defendant was wanted by police, it was error to admit in evidence the part containing such notations. State v. Dunn (Mo.), 308 S.W.2d 643.

(1958) Indictment charging defendant with "feloniously and fraudulently" buying and receiving certain stolen property was insufficient as quoted words are not of similar import to "intent to defraud" and not sufficiently definite and certain to satisfy constitutional and statutory requirements. State v. Harris (Mo.), 313 S.W.2d 664.

(1958) Defendant of a mental age of twelve years was told at a coroner's inquest to which he had been subpoenaed that under the constitution he was not obligated to testify. He replied that he understood that and wanted to tell all he knew. His statements were held to be admissible. State v. Mayabb (Mo.), 316 S.W.2d 609.

(1958) Defendant held to have waived right to be represented by counsel and to have been capable of doing so. State v. Glenn (Mo.), 317 S.W.2d 403; Cert. den. 358 U.S. 942, 79 S.Ct. 348.

(1959) This section applies to crimes against the state and does not apply to proceedings by municipalities for violation of municipal police regulations. City of Webster Groves v. Quick (Mo.), 319 S.W.2d 543.

(1959) Where defendant had refused service of public defender and dismissed two court-appointed attorneys, one of whom he had requested by name, and insisted up to trial date that he wanted to represent himself, but the court, over defendant's objection, provided him with counsel, defendant was not denied due process of law. State v. Warren (Mo.), 321 S.W.2d 705.

(1961) Where defendant refused the offer of the court to appoint counsel for him, the court's finding that the defendant was mentally able and sufficiently informed to decide his need for counsel was supported by the evidence. State v. Slicker (Mo.), 342 S.W.2d 946.

(1961) Defendant was not deprived of constitutional right to appear and defend in person where he was represented by competent counsel throughout all stages of trial and was personally present at all times except when voluntarily absent for short time during proceedings in chambers when record of prior convictions was presented to judge under second offender law. State v. Colbert (Mo.), 344 S.W.2d 115.

(1961) A proceeding under Rule 27.26 to vacate a judgment and sentence is not a step in the criminal proceedings entitling the defendant to "appear and defend, in person" under the constitution of Missouri. State v. Hurst (Mo.), 347 S.W.2d 177.

(1963) Failure of trial court to grant defendant's application for subpoenas for witnesses which was not specifically ruled on and not pursued when adequate opportunity to do so existed, could not, after verdict, form basis of prejudicial error when defendant had announced ready for trial and proceeded with no request for attendance of any witnesses and made no offer of proof as to expected testimony of desired witnesses. State v. Chapman (Mo.), 365 S.W.2d 551.

(1964) Constitutionality of Sunday sales act upheld against the charge that it is so vague and indefinite that citizens cannot ascertain or be informed of its meaning contrary to the due process provision of Art. I, § 10 of the constitution, and in violation of the right of a person accused in a criminal proceeding to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him as provided by Art. I, § 18(a) of the constitution. State ex rel. Eagleton v. McQueen (Mo.), 378 S.W.2d 449.

(1964) Judge's statement to jury in answer to their question about sentence to be imposed, after submission of cause to jury and in absence of defense counsel, that the jury should refer to instructions and the three forms of verdict given them and that the court would have no objection to jury using form of verdict that did not refer to the prior conviction if they felt it appropriate was not such a denial of defendant's rights as to make judgment subject to collateral attack nor would it have afforded defendant any basis for relief had his counsel been aware of the occurrence so that the matter could have been raised on appeal. State v. Baugh (Mo.), 382 S.W.2d 608.

(1964) Failure to appoint counsel to represent defendant at preliminary examination where he pleaded not guilty held not to deprive him due process of law nor equal protection of the law. State v. Phelps (Mo.), 384 S.W.2d 616.

(1966) As there is no constitutional requirement that there be a transcript of the testimony in a preliminary hearing, nor even a constitutional requirement that a preliminary hearing be held, defendant had no constitutional right to have a transcript of preliminary hearing. State v. Maxwell (Mo.), 400 S.W.2d 156.

(1966) Defendant in criminal case has no constitutional right to examine the police record, if any, of complaining witness. State v. Maxwell (Mo.), 400 S.W.2d 156.

(1966) Allegations framed in the language of the statute held sufficient to satisfy constitutional requirements. State v. Tandy (Mo.), 401 S.W.2d 409.

(1966) Defendant who sought or by his own conduct caused continuance cannot complain that right to speedy trial was violated. State v. Barrett (Mo.), 406 S.W.2d 602.

(1967) Court's compelling defendant of limited education to go on trial for felony without counsel immediately upon the withdrawal without notice of his employed counsel resulted in a denial of due process of law. State v. Martin (Mo.), 411 S.W.2d 215.

(1967) The appointment of counsel for an accused at a preliminary examination is not required by either the federal or state constitution or by statutes of this state. State v. Benison (Mo.), 415 S.W.2d 773.

(1967) The decision of United States Supreme Court in Douglas v. California that an indigent defendant is entitled to appointed counsel on state appeal applied retrospectively to the case of an indigent prisoner whose conviction was affirmed when he was not represented by counsel. Swenson v. Donnell (C.A. Mo.), 382 F.2d 248.

(1968) Denial of counsel in preliminary hearing is not a constitutional infirmity where defendant pleaded not guilty and was otherwise not shown to have been prejudiced. Pope v. Swenson (A.), 395 F.2d 321.

(1968) Failure to furnish counsel to accused during interrogation before confession at a time before decision in Escobedo case was not so prejudicial as to infect the subsequent trial with an absence of fundamental fairness. Howard v. Swenson (A.), 404 F.2d 469.

(1974) Held that failure of counsel to interview state's witnesses amounted to ineffective counsel. McQueen v. Swenson (C.A. Mo.), 498 F.2d 207.

(1975) Held that admission of evidence through closed circuit television was proper in a prosecution for violation of a city ordinance. The question was raised under the provision of the United States Const. and was not questioned under Art. I, § 18(a), const. of Mo. A four to three decision. Kansas City v. McCoy (Mo.), 525 S.W.2d 336.

Right to be Present to Defend

(1967) Accused's presence is not necessary during proceedings which are not part of the trial, such as preliminary or formal proceedings or motions which do not affect his guilt or innocence. State v. Durham (Mo.), 416 S.W.2d 79. (1973) Right to be present to defend request for writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum made one day before motion for new trial was to be heard when counsel had known of date of hearing for some time was not timely made and constitutional right to appear and defend in person was not denied. State v. Bizzle (A.), 500 S.W.2d 259.

(1973) Right to be present to defend request for writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum made one day before motion for new trial was to be heard when counsel had known of date of hearing for some time was not timely made and constitutional right to appear and defend in person was not denied. State v. Bizzle (A.), 500 S.W.2d 259.

Speedy Trial by Impartial Jury of County

(1968) Held that in the absence of apparent abuse continuances granted at request of defendant's counsel, even though made without knowledge and consent of defendant, would not constitute a denial of right to speedy trial. State v. Holmes (Mo.), 428 S.W.2d 571.

(1972) Although information was filed during September 1968 term and trial began during September 1969 term after elapse of four terms of court, since defendant took no action at any time to secure a trial until he filed motion for discharge at May 1969 term defendant was not entitled to discharge. Failure to take affirmative action seeking a speedy trial constitutes waiver of that right. State v. Wright (Mo.), 476 S.W.2d 581.

(1972) Where appellant had escaped from custody before arraignment set for March 31, 1966, and was convicted of crime in California and on June 10, 1970, was paroled from California sentence and returned for trial in Missouri, there was no denial of constitutional right to speedy trial since defendant showed no prejudice except his assertions that each year made it more difficult to find witnesses and that the Missouri detainer precluded him from California rehabilitation programs. State v. Endres (Mo.), 482 S.W.2d 480.

(1974) Right to a speedy trial arises only after the information was filed. A complaint represents only a possiblity that a criminal indictment or information will be filed. Trial within eight days after filing of information held not failure to have speedy trial. State v. York (Mo.), 511 S.W.2d 758.

(1976) Delay between commission of the offense of carrying a concealed weapon and defendant's arrest thereon or filing of information did not abridge defendant's right to speedy trial, nor did it violate his right of due process since no prejudice was demonstrated by the delay. State v. Odzark (A.), 532 S.W.2d 45.

(1986) Whether a person's right to a speedy trial has been violated depends upon four factors: (1) The length of the delay, (2) The reason for the delay, (3) The defendant's assertion to his right to a speedy trial, and (4) The prejudice to the defendant resulting from the delay. State v. Kirksey, 713 S.W.2d 841 (Mo.App. 1986).

---- end of effective  27 Feb 1945 ----

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