Hallettsville Municipal Court – Hallettsville, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Hallettsville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hallettsville Municipal Court
Address: “101 N Main St, Hallettsville, TX 77964”
Phone: 361-798-3681

City: Hallettsville
County: Lavaca
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Hallettsville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Hallettsville 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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hallettsville, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 managed in the municipal court in Hallettsville?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions 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
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, 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 Hallettsville, 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 Hallettsville Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Hallettsville Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Hallettsville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hallettsville, 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 jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Hallettsville, Texas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hallettsville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.