Myrtle Beach Municipal Court – Myrtle Beach, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Myrtle Beach Municipal Court INformation

Court: Myrtle Beach Municipal Court
Address: “Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center 1101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577”
Phone: 843-918-1356

City: Myrtle Beach
County: Horry
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Myrtle Beach 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Myrtle Beach?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 assist for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual 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 case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways 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 Myrtle Beach, SC

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 100% accurate for the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Myrtle Beach Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.