Lexington Municipal Court – Lexington, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Lexington Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lexington Municipal Court
Address: “919 Franklin Avenue, Lexington, MO 64067”
Phone: 660-259-3367

City: Lexington
County: Lafayette
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Lexington Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Lexington 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lexington, Missouri

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges 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 misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Lexington?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases 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 help for a specific time period.

Magistrates administer 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
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Lexington, MO

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 Lexington Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Lexington Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Lexington Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lexington, Missouri?

In Missouri, 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 misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Lexington, Missouri?

Depending on the area 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Lexington Municipal Court have?

The count 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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.