Moulton Municipal Court – Moulton, TX

Oct 28, 2021

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

Moulton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Moulton Municipal Court
Address: “102 S Main St, PO Box 369, Moulton, TX 77975”
Phone: 361-596-7651

City: Moulton
County: Lavaca
State: Texas

What is the role of the Moulton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Moulton 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Moulton, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 service their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Moulton?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the 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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person 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 appear, 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.

Step Two: 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 Moulton, 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 Moulton Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Moulton Municipal Court 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Moulton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Moulton, 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 area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Moulton, Texas?

Depending on the size 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Moulton 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.