Goliad Municipal Court – Goliad, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Goliad Municipal Court INformation

Court: Goliad Municipal Court
Address: “PO Drawer 939, Goliad, TX 77963”
Phone: 361-645-3454

City: Goliad
County: Goliad
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Goliad Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Goliad 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Goliad, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 handled in the municipal court in Goliad?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates administer 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

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

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Goliad, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Goliad Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 type of case 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Goliad Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Goliad, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town 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 Goliad, Texas?

Depending on the area 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 Goliad Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court 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 weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.