Hale Center Municipal Court – Hale Center, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Hale Center Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hale Center Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 532, Hale Center, TX 79041”
Phone: 806-839-4451

City: Hale Center
County: Hale
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Hale Center Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hale Center, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 help their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor 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 managed in the municipal court in Hale Center?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed 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 time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hale Center, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Hale Center Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Hale Center Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hale Center Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hale Center, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Hale Center, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hale Center Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.