A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the city or county level.
Smithers Municipal Court INformation
Court: Smithers Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 489, Smithers, WV 25186”
State: West Virginia
What is the purpose of the Smithers Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Smithers 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 family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Smithers, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what establishes 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Smithers?
Judges administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Smithers, WV
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Smithers Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Smithers Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual 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 available.
Questions ABOUT the Smithers Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Smithers, West Virginia?
In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Smithers, West Virginia?
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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Smithers Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
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 sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.