Belton Municipal Court – Belton, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Belton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Belton Municipal Court
Address: “306 Anderson Street, Belton, SC 29627”
Phone: 864-338-5810

City: Belton
County: Anderson
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Belton Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts 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 felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Belton, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Belton?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters 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 duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common 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 issued when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court 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 appear, 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 Belton, SC

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 Belton Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Belton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have in front of 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 Belton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Belton, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Belton, South Carolina?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Belton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.