Arcola Municipal Court – Arcola, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Arcola Municipal Court INformation

Court: Arcola Municipal Court
Address: “13222 Hwy 6, Arcola, TX 77583”
Phone: 281-431-1852

City: Arcola
County: Fort Bend
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Arcola Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Arcola Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Arcola, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Arcola?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person 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 location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence 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 Arcola, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in local 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Arcola Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Arcola Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Arcola, 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 Arcola, Texas?

Depending on the size 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 Arcola Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.