Kingwood Municipal Court – Kingwood, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Kingwood Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kingwood Municipal Court
Address: “313 Tunnelton Street, Kingwood, WV 26537”
Phone: 304-329-1225

City: Kingwood
County: Preston
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Kingwood Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Kingwood 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 infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kingwood, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 population or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 handled in the municipal court in Kingwood?

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 have often been called 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Kingwood, WV

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Kingwood Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Kingwood Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kingwood, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Kingwood, West Virginia?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Kingwood Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.