Balcones Heights Municipal Court – Balcones Heights, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Balcones Heights Municipal Court INformation

Court: Balcones Heights Municipal Court
Address: “3300 Hillcrest Dr, Balcones Heights, TX 78201”
Phone: 210-735-9148

City: Balcones Heights
County: Bexar
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Balcones Heights Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Balcones Heights Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

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

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Balcones Heights, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Balcones Heights?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 assist for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, 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 $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Balcones Heights, TX

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

A violation is an offense 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 offenses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Balcones Heights Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 matter they have before 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 Balcones Heights Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Balcones Heights, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Balcones Heights, Texas?

Depending on the scope 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Balcones Heights 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 sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.