Pharr Municipal Court – Pharr, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Pharr Municipal Court INformation

Court: Pharr Municipal Court
Address: “1900 S Cage Blvd, Pharr, TX 78577”
Phone: 956-783-7859

City: Pharr
County: Hidalgo
State: Texas

What is the role of the Pharr Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Pharr Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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

County courthouses 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 cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Pharr, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Pharr?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to serve for a specific time period.

Magistrates 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 suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Pharr, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, 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 charges in municipal courthouses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Pharr Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person 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 needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Pharr Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Pharr, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Pharr, Texas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Pharr Municipal Court have?

The count 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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.