Lester Municipal Court – Lester, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Lester Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lester Municipal Court
Address: “122 Grandison Road, PO Box 56, Lester, WV 25865”
Phone: 304-934-6301

City: Lester
County: Raleigh
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Lester Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courts like Lester Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lester, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 service their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a 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 handled in the municipal court in Lester?

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

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. 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 sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual 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 don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Lester, WV

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

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

Lester 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 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Lester Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lester, West Virginia?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Lester, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Lester 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 term of years 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 often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.