Bridge City Municipal Court – Bridge City, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Bridge City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bridge City Municipal Court
Address: “260 Rachal Ave, PO Box 846, Bridge City, TX 77611”
Phone: 409-735-2236

City: Bridge City
County: Orange
State: Texas

What is the role of the Bridge City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Bridge City Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bridge City, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Bridge City?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, 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.

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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Bridge City, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1k 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 courts 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Bridge City 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Bridge City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bridge City, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Bridge City, 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 Bridge City Municipal Court have?

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

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