Sonora Municipal Court – Sonora, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Sonora Municipal Court INformation

Court: Sonora Municipal Court
Address: “201 E Main, Sonora, TX 76950”
Phone: 325-387-5237

City: Sonora
County: Sutton
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Sonora Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Sonora Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sonora, 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 assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Sonora?

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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Sonora, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Sonora Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Sonora 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 charge 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Sonora Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Sonora, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Sonora, Texas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Sonora Municipal Court have?

The count 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 sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.