Hampton Municipal Court – Hampton, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Hampton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hampton Municipal Court
Address: “608 1st Street West, Hampton, SC 29924”
Phone: 803-943-2421

City: Hampton
County: Hampton
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Hampton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Hampton 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses 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 matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hampton, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

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 misdemeanors 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 Hampton?

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 popularly known 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 board to serve for a specific duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons 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 never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hampton, SC

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 charges in municipal courthouses 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Hampton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Hampton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hampton, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Hampton, South Carolina?

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 Hampton Municipal Court have?

The count 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 retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.