Big Sandy Municipal Court – Big Sandy, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Big Sandy Municipal Court INformation

Court: Big Sandy Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 986, Big Sandy, TX 75755”
Phone: 903-636-5534

City: Big Sandy
County: Upshur
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Big Sandy Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Big Sandy 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Big Sandy, Texas

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Big Sandy?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time period.

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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the 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 never 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.

Step Two: 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 Big Sandy, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, 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 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Big Sandy Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Big Sandy Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Big Sandy, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Big Sandy, Texas?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Big Sandy Municipal Court have?

The count 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.