Sunnyvale Municipal Court – Sunnyvale, TX

Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Sunnyvale Municipal Court INformation

Court: Sunnyvale Municipal Court
Address: “127 N Collins Rd, Sunnyvale, TX 75182”
Phone: 972-203-4144

City: Sunnyvale
County: Dallas
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Sunnyvale Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Sunnyvale 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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 felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sunnyvale, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Sunnyvale?

Municipal courts are the first 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 period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance 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 answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Sunnyvale, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k or one year in 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Sunnyvale Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before 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 Sunnyvale Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Sunnyvale, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Sunnyvale, Texas?

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

How many judges does the Sunnyvale Municipal Court have?

The number 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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.