St. Albans Municipal Court – Saint Albans, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

St. Albans Municipal Court INformation

Court: St. Albans Municipal Court
Address: “51 6th Avenue, Saint Albans, WV 25177”
Phone: 304-357-0400

City: Saint Albans
County: Kanawha
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the St. Albans Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like St. Albans Municipal 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 divorce or other family matters, injury 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, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Saint Albans, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry 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 costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Saint Albans?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates administer 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 seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 given a jail sentence 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 Saint Albans, WV

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

St. Albans Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the St. Albans Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Saint Albans, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Saint Albans, West Virginia?

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 St. Albans Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.