Farmers Branch Municipal Court – Farmers Branch, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Farmers Branch Municipal Court INformation

Court: Farmers Branch Municipal Court
Address: “3723 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch, TX 75244”
Phone: 972-484-4112

City: Farmers Branch
County: Dallas
State: Texas

What is the role of the Farmers Branch Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Farmers Branch 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Farmers Branch, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Farmers Branch?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Farmers Branch, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1000 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 charges 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.

Farmers Branch Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Farmers Branch Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Farmers Branch, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 Farmers Branch, 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 Farmers Branch 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.