A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Smithfield Municipal Justice Court INformation
Court: Smithfield Municipal Justice Court
Address: “96 South Main, Smithfield, UT 84335”
What is the role of the Smithfield Municipal Justice Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Smithfield Municipal Justice Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.
On the other hand, 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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Smithfield, Utah
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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
How are cases handled in the municipal court in Smithfield?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Smithfield, UT
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Smithfield Municipal Justice Court.
A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Smithfield Municipal Justice 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 matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Smithfield Municipal Justice Court
What is municipal court in Smithfield, Utah?
In Utah, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Smithfield, Utah?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Smithfield Municipal Justice Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Utah?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.