Longview Municipal Court – Longview, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Longview Municipal Court INformation

Court: Longview Municipal Court
Address: “302 W Cotton St, PO Box 1952, Longview, TX 75606”
Phone: 903-237-1186

City: Longview
County: Gregg
State: Texas

What is the role of the Longview Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Longview 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Longview, 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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Longview?

Municipal courts are the first 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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time period.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given 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 answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Longview, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 crimes in municipal courthouses 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Longview Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Longview Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Longview, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Longview, Texas?

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 Longview Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.