Belton Municipal Court – Belton, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Belton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Belton Municipal Court
Address: “100 S Davis Street, PO Box 120, Belton, TX 76513”
Phone: 254-933-5838

City: Belton
County: Bell
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Belton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Belton Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

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

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist 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 tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

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

Municipal courts are the entry level 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. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time 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 Belton, 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 Belton Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Belton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Belton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Belton, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Belton, 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 Belton Municipal Court have?

The number 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 sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.