Chapin Municipal Court – Chapin, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Chapin Municipal Court INformation

Court: Chapin Municipal Court
Address: “157 NW Columbia Avenue, PO Box 183, Chapin, SC 29036”
Phone: 803-575-8052

City: Chapin
County: Lexington
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Chapin Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Chapin 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 matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Chapin, South Carolina

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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Chapin?

Municipal courts are the first 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. 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 assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen 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 respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Chapin, SC

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Chapin Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 type of case they have in front of 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 Chapin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Chapin, South Carolina?

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

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

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Chapin Municipal Court have?

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

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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.