De Kalb Municipal Court – De Kalb, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

De Kalb Municipal Court INformation

Court: De Kalb Municipal Court
Address: “110 E Grizzly Dr, De Kalb, TX 75559”
Phone: 903-667-3846

City: De Kalb
County: Bowie
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the De Kalb Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like De Kalb Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in De Kalb, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 citizens 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 violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes 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 De Kalb?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 board to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the 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 scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual 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 in absentia 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in De Kalb, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k 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 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

De Kalb Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the De Kalb Municipal Court

What is municipal court in De Kalb, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in De Kalb, Texas?

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 De Kalb 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.