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A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
Bellefontaine Municipal Court INformation
Court: Bellefontaine Municipal Court
Address: “226 W Columbus Ave, Bellefontaine, OH 43311”
What is the purpose of the Bellefontaine Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Bellefontaine Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.
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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
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 seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bellefontaine, Ohio
Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.
There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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
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What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Bellefontaine?
Magistrates manage 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
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Bellefontaine, OH
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Bellefontaine Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
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Bellefontaine 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 type of information is needed by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Bellefontaine Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Bellefontaine, Ohio?
In Ohio, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Bellefontaine, Ohio?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Bellefontaine Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.