Poca Municipal Court – Poca, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Poca Municipal Court INformation

Court: Poca Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 586, Poca, WV 25159”
Phone: 304-755-5482

City: Poca
County: Putnam
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Poca Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Poca Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Poca, West Virginia

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge 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 Poca?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Poca, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Poca Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 charges 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.

Poca Municipal Court 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Poca Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Poca, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Poca, West Virginia?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Poca Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

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