Albany Municipal Court – Albany, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Albany Municipal Court INformation

Court: Albany Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 595, Albany, TX 76430”
Phone: 325-762-3133

City: Albany
County: Shackelford
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Albany Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Albany Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Albany, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Albany?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Albany, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Albany Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k or one year in jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Albany Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Albany Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Albany, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Albany, Texas?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Albany Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.