Sterling Municipal Court – Sterling, OK

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Sterling Municipal Court INformation

Court: Sterling Municipal Court
Address: “2 North 2nd Avenue, PO Box 277, Sterling, OK 73567”
Phone: 580-365-4445

City: Sterling
County: Comanche
State: Oklahoma

What is the role of the Sterling Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Sterling 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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sterling, Oklahoma

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 service their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

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 misdemeanor charges 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 Sterling?

Municipal courts are the entry 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 handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the 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 fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Sterling, OK

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 accurate for the Sterling Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Sterling Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Sterling Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Sterling, Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Sterling, Oklahoma?

Depending on the area 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 Sterling Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oklahoma?

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 the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.