A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.
Forest Acres Municipal Court INformation
Court: Forest Acres Municipal Court
Address: “5205 North Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29206”
State: South Carolina
What is the role of the Forest Acres Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Forest Acres Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.
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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbia, South Carolina
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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better help their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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
what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Columbia?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Columbia, SC
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Forest Acres Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Forest Acres Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.
Questions ABOUT the Forest Acres Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Columbia, 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 area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Columbia, South Carolina?
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 Forest Acres 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 retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.