A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Salem Municipal Court INformation
Court: Salem Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 352, Salem, WV 26426”
State: West Virginia
What is the purpose of the Salem Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Salem Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
In other situations, 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, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Salem, West Virginia
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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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
How are cases handled in the municipal court in Salem?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Salem, 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 100% accurate for the Salem Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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 offenses 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.
Salem Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 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.
Common Questions ABOUT the Salem Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Salem, West Virginia?
In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Salem, West Virginia?
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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Salem 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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.