Florence Municipal Court – Florence, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Florence Municipal Court INformation

Court: Florence Municipal Court
Address: “203 College St, PO Box 309, Florence, MS 39073”
Phone: 601-845-1748

City: Florence
County: Rankin
State: Mississippi

What is the role of the Florence Municipal Court?

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

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Florence, Mississippi

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Florence?

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 often known as 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 help for a specific duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: 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 courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Florence, MS

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

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

Florence Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Florence Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Florence, Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Florence, Mississippi?

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 Florence Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

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 chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.