A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.
Martinsburg Municipal Court INformation
Court: Martinsburg Municipal Court
Address: “232 North Queen Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401”
State: West Virginia
What is the role of the Martinsburg Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Martinsburg Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
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 family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places 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 may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.
You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 managed in the municipal court in Martinsburg?
Judges manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Martinsburg, WV
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Martinsburg Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Martinsburg 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of 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 Martinsburg Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia?
In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Martinsburg, West Virginia?
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 Martinsburg 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 court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.