Martinsburg Municipal Division – Mexico, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Martinsburg Municipal Division INformation

Court: Martinsburg Municipal Division
Address: “Audrain County Courthouse 101 North Jefferson Street, Mexico, MO 65265”
Phone: 573-473-5840

City: Mexico
County: Audrain
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Martinsburg Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Martinsburg Municipal Division 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 matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Mexico, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor 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 managed in the municipal court in Mexico?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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 duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the 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 show up, 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Mexico, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Martinsburg Municipal Division. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1k 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Martinsburg Municipal Division Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Martinsburg Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Mexico, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court 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 crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Mexico, Missouri?

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 Division have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.