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.
Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division INformation
Court: Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division
Address: “800 Spring Garden St, PO Box 56301, Philadelphia, PA 19130”
What is the purpose of the Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division 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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
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 felonies and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Municipal courts are the entry level 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 serve their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 Philadelphia?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Philadelphia, PA
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 Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division
What is municipal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Philadelphia Municipal Court – Traffic Division have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Pennsylvania?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.