A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.
Pittsburgh Municipal Court INformation
Court: Pittsburgh Municipal Court
Address: “Municipal Courts Building 660 1st Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219”
What is the role of the Pittsburgh Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Pittsburgh 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 family law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courthouses 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 affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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 administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 Pittsburgh?
Magistrates manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Pittsburgh, PA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 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 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.
Pittsburgh Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 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.
Common Questions ABOUT the Pittsburgh Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Pittsburgh Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Pennsylvania?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.