Orangeburg Municipal Court – Orangeburg, SC

Oct 26, 2021

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

Orangeburg Municipal Court INformation

Court: Orangeburg Municipal Court
Address: “1320 Middleton Street, Orangeburg, SC 29115”
Phone: 803-533-5921

City: Orangeburg
County: Orangeburg
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Orangeburg Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Orangeburg 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 courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

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

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Orangeburg?

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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. Cases are managed 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 period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine 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 most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Orangeburg, SC

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

A violation is a crime that carries 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 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.

Orangeburg 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 a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Orangeburg Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Orangeburg, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Orangeburg, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Orangeburg Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.