Chesterfield Municipal Court – Chesterfield, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Chesterfield Municipal Court INformation

Court: Chesterfield Municipal Court
Address: “110 Main Street, PO Box 350, Chesterfield, SC 29709”
Phone: 843-623-2419

City: Chesterfield
County: Chesterfield
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Chesterfield Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, 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 breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not 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 Chesterfield, South Carolina

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor 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 handled in the municipal court in Chesterfield?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to assist for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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: Appearance 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 Chesterfield, SC

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Chesterfield Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Chesterfield 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 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 needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Chesterfield Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Chesterfield, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town 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 Chesterfield, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Chesterfield 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.