New Martinsville Municipal Court – New Martinsville, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

New Martinsville Municipal Court INformation

Court: New Martinsville Municipal Court
Address: “191 Main Street, New Martinsville, WV 26155”
Phone: 304-455-9120

City: New Martinsville
County: Wetzel
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the New Martinsville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like New Martinsville Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses 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 larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in New Martinsville, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 New Martinsville?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to assist for a specific time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never 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: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in New Martinsville, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the New Martinsville Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 offenses 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.

New Martinsville Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the New Martinsville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in New Martinsville, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 New Martinsville, West Virginia?

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 New Martinsville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.