Mercedes Municipal Court – Mercedes, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Mercedes Municipal Court INformation

Court: Mercedes Municipal Court
Address: “400 S Ohio Ave, Mercedes, TX 78570”
Phone: 956-565-3114 ext. 171

City: Mercedes
County: Hidalgo
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Mercedes Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Mercedes Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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 felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Mercedes, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Mercedes?

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

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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 case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, 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 sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Mercedes, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Mercedes Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Mercedes Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Mercedes, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Mercedes, Texas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Mercedes Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

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 precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.