A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
Surfside Beach Municipal Court INformation
Court: Surfside Beach Municipal Court
Address: “115 US Highway 17 North, Surfside Beach, SC 29575”
City: Surfside Beach
State: South Carolina
What is the role of the Surfside Beach Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Surfside Beach 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 family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Surfside Beach, South Carolina
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 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 may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Surfside Beach?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Surfside Beach, SC
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Surfside Beach Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1000 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Surfside Beach 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Surfside Beach Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Surfside Beach, South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Surfside Beach, South Carolina?
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 deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Surfside Beach Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.