Georgetown Municipal Court – Georgetown, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Georgetown Municipal Court INformation

Court: Georgetown Municipal Court
Address: “2222 Highmarket Street, PO Box 939, Georgetown, SC 29442”
Phone: 843-545-4020

City: Georgetown
County: Georgetown
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Georgetown Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Georgetown Municipal Court 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Georgetown, South Carolina

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Georgetown?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 time period.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

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

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Georgetown, SC

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 Georgetown Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Georgetown 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Georgetown Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Georgetown, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Georgetown, 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 Georgetown Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.