A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.
Smithton Municipal Division INformation
Court: Smithton Municipal Division
Address: “Pettis County Courthouse 415 South Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301”
What is the role of the Smithton Municipal Division?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Smithton Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.
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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sedalia, Missouri
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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 handled in the municipal court in Sedalia?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge
The Process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Sedalia, MO
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Smithton Municipal Division.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 crimes in municipal courthouses 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.
Smithton Municipal Division Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Smithton Municipal Division
What is municipal court in Sedalia, Missouri?
In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Sedalia, Missouri?
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 deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Smithton Municipal Division have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.