Jefferson County Municipal Court – Hillsboro, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Jefferson County Municipal Court INformation

Court: Jefferson County Municipal Court
Address: “400 1st Street, PO Box 100, Hillsboro, MO 63050”
Phone: 636-797-6265

City: Hillsboro
County: Jefferson
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Jefferson County Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Jefferson County Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hillsboro, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 assist their population or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Hillsboro?

Municipal courts are the first level 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. 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 members to help for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer 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 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hillsboro, MO

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 Jefferson County Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Jefferson County 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Jefferson County Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hillsboro, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court 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 offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Hillsboro, Missouri?

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 Jefferson County Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.