Berkeley Municipal Court – Berkeley, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Berkeley Municipal Court INformation

Court: Berkeley Municipal Court
Address: “8425 Airport Road, Berkeley, MO 63134”
Phone: 314-400-3700

City: Berkeley
County: St. Louis
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Berkeley Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Berkeley 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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Berkeley, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 serve their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Berkeley?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 board to help for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present 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 $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Berkeley, MO

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

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

Berkeley 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 type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Berkeley Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Berkeley, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Berkeley, Missouri?

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 Berkeley Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

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