Dillon Municipal Court – Dillon, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Dillon Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dillon Municipal Court
Address: “City-County Complex Building 401 West Main Street, PO Drawer 431, Dillon, SC 29536”
Phone: 843-774-0049 ext. 1019

City: Dillon
County: Dillon
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Dillon Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Dillon 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 matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dillon, South Carolina

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard 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

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

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given 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 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 $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Dillon, SC

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Dillon Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person 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 required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Dillon Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dillon, 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 jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Dillon, South Carolina?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Dillon Municipal Court have?

The count 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 duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.