Dripping Springs Municipal Court – Dripping Springs, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Dripping Springs Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dripping Springs Municipal Court
Address: “511 Mercer St, PO Box 384, Dripping Springs, TX 78620”
Phone: 512-858-4725

City: Dripping Springs
County: Hays
State: Texas

What is the role of the Dripping Springs Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Dripping Springs Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dripping Springs, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 assist their people or to save money on 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 infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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 Dripping Springs?

Municipal courts are the entry 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 serve for a specific time period.

Judges preside over 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 protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k 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 Dripping Springs, 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 accurate for the Dripping Springs Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 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.

Dripping Springs Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Dripping Springs Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dripping Springs, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Dripping Springs, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Dripping Springs Municipal Court have?

The number 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.