Bowman Municipal Court – Bowman, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Bowman Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bowman Municipal Court
Address: “421 Moss Street, PO Box 37, Bowman, SC 29018”
Phone: 803-829-2666

City: Bowman
County: Orangeburg
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Bowman Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Bowman Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bowman, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 help their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Bowman?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are handled 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 time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion 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 someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear 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 $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Bowman, SC

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Bowman Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Bowman Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Bowman Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bowman, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, 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 crimes and misdemeanor charges.

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

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Bowman 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 sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.