Alice Municipal Court – Alice, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Alice Municipal Court INformation

Court: Alice Municipal Court
Address: “415 E Main St, Alice, TX 78332”
Phone: 361-668-7285

City: Alice
County: Jim Wells
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Alice Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Alice Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Alice, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Alice?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

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

Second Step: Show Up 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 Alice, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Alice Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Alice Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Alice, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Alice, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Alice Municipal Court have?

The number 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 duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.