A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.
Freeport Municipal Court INformation
Court: Freeport Municipal Court
Address: “200 W 2nd St, Freeport, TX 77541”
What is the role of the Freeport Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Freeport Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.
On the other hand, 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Freeport, Texas
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 service their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 handled in the municipal court in Freeport?
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 law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Freeport, TX
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Freeport Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 charges in municipal courthouses 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.
Freeport 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Freeport Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Freeport, Texas?
In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Freeport, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Freeport Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.