Harker Heights Municipal Court – Harker Heights, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Harker Heights Municipal Court INformation

Court: Harker Heights Municipal Court
Address: “305 Miller’s Crossing, Harker Heights, TX 76548”
Phone: 254-953-5620

City: Harker Heights
County: Bell
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Harker Heights Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Harker Heights 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses 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 cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Harker Heights, 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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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 handled in the municipal court in Harker Heights?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 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 period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure 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 common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Harker Heights, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 charges 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.

Harker Heights 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 a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Harker Heights Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Harker Heights, 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 misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Harker Heights, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Harker Heights 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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.