Dallas Municipal Court – Dallas, TX

Oct 28, 2021

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

Dallas Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dallas Municipal Court
Address: “2014 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201”
Phone: 214-670-0109

City: Dallas
County: Dallas
State: Texas

What is the role of the Dallas Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Dallas Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dallas, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 serve their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Dallas?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 members to help for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 Dallas, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Dallas 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Dallas Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dallas, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Dallas, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Dallas Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.