A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Steilacoom Municipal Court INformation
Court: Steilacoom Municipal Court
Address: “6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499”
What is the purpose of the Steilacoom Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Steilacoom Municipal Court 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 charges, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lakewood, Washington
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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Lakewood?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Lakewood, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Steilacoom Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Steilacoom Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Steilacoom Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Lakewood, Washington?
In Washington, 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 charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Lakewood, Washington?
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 Steilacoom Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.