San Juan Municipal Court – San Juan, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

San Juan Municipal Court INformation

Court: San Juan Municipal Court
Address: “2301 N Raul Longoria Rd, San Juan, TX 78589”
Phone: 956-223-2460

City: San Juan
County: Hidalgo
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the San Juan Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like San Juan 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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in San Juan, Texas

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 serve their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in San Juan?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to serve for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 San Juan, TX

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 San Juan Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

San Juan Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have before 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 San Juan Municipal Court

What is municipal court in San Juan, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level 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 San Juan, 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 San Juan Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

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 evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.