A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Somerville Municipal Court INformation
Court: Somerville Municipal Court
Address: “150 8th St, PO Box 159, Somerville, TX 77879”
What is the purpose of the Somerville Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Somerville Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.
TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Somerville, Texas
Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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
What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Somerville?
Magistrates manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Somerville, TX
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Somerville Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.
Somerville Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Somerville Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Somerville, Texas?
In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Somerville, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Somerville Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.