Refugio Municipal Court – Refugio, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Refugio Municipal Court INformation

Court: Refugio Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 1020, Refugio, TX 78377”
Phone: 361-526-5364

City: Refugio
County: Refugio
State: Texas

What is the role of the Refugio Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Refugio 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, 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 cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Refugio, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 help their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Refugio?

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Refugio, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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.

Refugio 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 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 kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Refugio Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Refugio, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Refugio, Texas?

Depending on the size 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 Refugio 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.