Bancroft Municipal Court – Bancroft, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Bancroft Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bancroft Municipal Court
Address: “14 B Main Street, PO Box 58, Bancroft, WV 25011”
Phone: 304-586-1227

City: Bancroft
County: Putnam
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Bancroft Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Bancroft 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 family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bancroft, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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

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

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are handled 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.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Bancroft, WV

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

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

Bancroft Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Bancroft Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bancroft, West Virginia?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Bancroft, West Virginia?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Bancroft Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.