Heath Municipal Court – Heath, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Heath Municipal Court INformation

Court: Heath Municipal Court
Address: “200 Laurence Dr, Heath, TX 75032”
Phone: 972-961-4877

City: Heath
County: Rockwall
State: Texas

What is the role of the Heath Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Heath Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the purpose 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 contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Heath, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Heath?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases 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 time period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to 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: 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 Heath, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Heath Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Heath Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Heath Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Heath, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 Heath, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Heath Municipal Court have?

The number 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.