Bowie Municipal Court – Bowie, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Bowie Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bowie Municipal Court
Address: “304 Lindsey St, Bowie, TX 76230”
Phone: 940-872-4392

City: Bowie
County: Montague
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Bowie Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Bowie Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bowie, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 serve their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Bowie?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 $1000 or given a jail sentence 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Bowie, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Bowie Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Bowie Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bowie, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Bowie, Texas?

Depending on the area 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 Bowie 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.