Oxford Municipal Court – Oxford, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Oxford Municipal Court INformation

Court: Oxford Municipal Court
Address: “Oxford City Hall 107 Courthouse Sq, Oxford, MS 38655”
Phone: 662-234-2320

City: Oxford
County: Lafayette
State: Mississippi

What is the role of the Oxford Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Oxford Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Oxford, Mississippi

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

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

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over 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
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. 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 summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Oxford, MS

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Oxford 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Oxford Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Oxford, Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Oxford, Mississippi?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Oxford Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.