Gaston Municipal Court – Gaston, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Gaston Municipal Court INformation

Court: Gaston Municipal Court
Address: “186 North Carlisle Street, Gaston, SC 29053”
Phone: 803-796-7725

City: Gaston
County: Lexington
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Gaston Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Gaston Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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 matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Gaston, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Gaston?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled 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 duration.

Judges manage 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Gaston, SC

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

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

Gaston Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Gaston Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Gaston, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Gaston, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Gaston Municipal Court have?

The number 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.