Seadrift Municipal Court – Seadrift, TX

Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Seadrift Municipal Court INformation

Court: Seadrift Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 159, Seadrift, TX 77983”
Phone: 361-785-2218

City: Seadrift
County: Calhoun
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Seadrift Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Seadrift Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Seadrift, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Seadrift?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 managed 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.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Seadrift, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Seadrift 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 charge 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.

Questions ABOUT the Seadrift Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Seadrift, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Seadrift, 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 Seadrift Municipal Court have?

The count 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.