A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.
Merkel Municipal Court INformation
Court: Merkel Municipal Court
Address: “100 Kent St, Merkel, TX 79536”
What is the role of the Merkel Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Merkel 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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Merkel, Texas
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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 handled in the municipal court in Merkel?
Judges administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Merkel, TX
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Merkel Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Merkel Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.
Questions ABOUT the Merkel Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Merkel, 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 misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Merkel, 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 Merkel 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 commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.