A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.
North Charleston Municipal Court INformation
Court: North Charleston Municipal Court
Address: “2500 City Hall Lane, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC 29419”
City: North Charleston
State: South Carolina
What is the purpose of the North Charleston Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like North Charleston Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.
In other situations, 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in North Charleston, South Carolina
Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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
How are cases handled in the municipal court in North Charleston?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in North Charleston, SC
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the North Charleston Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1000 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
North Charleston Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the North Charleston Municipal Court
What is municipal court in North Charleston, South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in North Charleston, South Carolina?
Depending on the area 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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the North Charleston Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
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 retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.