A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Charleston Municipal Court INformation
Court: Charleston Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 420, Charleston, MS 38921”
What is the role of the Charleston Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Charleston 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Charleston, Mississippi
Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.
There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 managed in the municipal court in Charleston?
Judges manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Charleston, MS
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 accurate for the Charleston Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Charleston 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 a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Charleston Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Charleston, Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Charleston, Mississippi?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Charleston Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.