Alpine Municipal Court – Alpine, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Alpine Municipal Court INformation

Court: Alpine Municipal Court
Address: “309 W Sul Ross Ave, Alpine, TX 79830”
Phone: 432-837-0808

City: Alpine
County: Brewster
State: Texas

What is the role of the Alpine Municipal Court?

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

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

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Alpine, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Alpine?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer 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.

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 Alpine, TX

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

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

Alpine Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Alpine Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Alpine, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Alpine, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Alpine 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 duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.