Port Aransas Municipal Court – Port Aransas, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Port Aransas Municipal Court INformation

Court: Port Aransas Municipal Court
Address: “705 W Avenue A, Port Aransas, TX 78373”
Phone: 361-749-6618

City: Port Aransas
County: Nueces
State: Texas

What is the role of the Port Aransas Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Port Aransas 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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Port Aransas, Texas

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Port Aransas?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Port Aransas, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses 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.

Port Aransas Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Port Aransas Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Port Aransas, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Port Aransas, Texas?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Port Aransas Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.