A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Charleston Municipal Court INformation
Court: Charleston Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall 204 North Main Street, Charleston, MO 63834”
What is the purpose of the Charleston Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Charleston 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Charleston, Missouri
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 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 matters, low level crimes and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 handled in the municipal court in Charleston?
Judges administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Charleston, MO
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Charleston Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courts 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Charleston 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Charleston Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Charleston, Missouri?
In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Charleston, Missouri?
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 deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Charleston Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.