Dickinson Municipal Court – Dickinson, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Dickinson Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dickinson Municipal Court
Address: “4403 Hwy 3, Dickinson, TX 77539”
Phone: 281-337-6297

City: Dickinson
County: Galveston
State: Texas

What is the role of the Dickinson Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Dickinson 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dickinson, 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 service their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Dickinson?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 time period.

Magistrates preside over 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 protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia 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 respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Dickinson, 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 Dickinson Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Dickinson 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 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 present.

FAQs ABOUT the Dickinson Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dickinson, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Dickinson, 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 Dickinson Municipal Court have?

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

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 chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.