DeSoto Municipal Court – Desoto, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

DeSoto Municipal Court INformation

Court: DeSoto Municipal Court
Address: “211 E Pleasant Run Rd, Desoto, TX 75115”
Phone: 972-230-9673

City: Desoto
County: Dallas
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the DeSoto Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like DeSoto Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Desoto, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Desoto?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed 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 duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to appear 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 $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Desoto, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

DeSoto 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 case 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.

Questions ABOUT the DeSoto Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Desoto, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town 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 Desoto, Texas?

Depending on the size 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 DeSoto Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.