Orchard Municipal Court – Orchard, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Orchard Municipal Court INformation

Court: Orchard Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 59, Orchard, TX 77464”
Phone: 979-478-6893

City: Orchard
County: Fort Bend
State: Texas

What is the role of the Orchard Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Orchard Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the purpose 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, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Orchard, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 managed in the municipal court in Orchard?

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 handled 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 duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Orchard, TX

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

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

Orchard Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Orchard Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Orchard, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level 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 offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Orchard, Texas?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Orchard Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.