Oceana Municipal Court – Oceana, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Oceana Municipal Court INformation

Court: Oceana Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 190, Oceana, WV 24870”
Phone: 304-682-6231

City: Oceana
County: Wyoming
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Oceana Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Oceana 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, accident 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 $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Oceana, West Virginia

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor 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 Oceana?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases 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 help for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Oceana, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Oceana Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Oceana 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 case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Oceana Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Oceana, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Oceana, West Virginia?

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 Oceana Municipal Court have?

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

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 sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.