Freistatt Municipal Division – Mount Vernon, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Freistatt Municipal Division INformation

Court: Freistatt Municipal Division
Address: “Lawrence County Justice Center 240 North Main Street, Suite 110, Mount Vernon, MO 65712”
Phone: 417-466-2471 ext. 112

City: Mount Vernon
County: Lawrence
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Freistatt Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Freistatt Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’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 Mount Vernon, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Mount Vernon?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Mount Vernon, MO

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 Freistatt Municipal Division. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Freistatt Municipal Division 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Freistatt Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Mount Vernon, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts 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 Mount Vernon, Missouri?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Freistatt Municipal Division have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.