Somerset Municipal Court – Somerset, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Somerset Municipal Court INformation

Court: Somerset Municipal Court
Address: “7360 E 6th St, Somerset, TX 78069”
Phone: 830-701-4100

City: Somerset
County: Bexar
State: Texas

What is the role of the Somerset Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Somerset Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Somerset, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on administrative 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 violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 Somerset?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Somerset, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1k 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 offenses in municipal courts 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Somerset 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Somerset Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Somerset, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Somerset, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Somerset Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.