Swansea Municipal Court – Swansea, SC

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Swansea Municipal Court INformation

Court: Swansea Municipal Court
Address: “320 West Third Street, Swansea, SC 29160”
Phone: 803-568-3366

City: Swansea
County: Lexington
State: South Carolina

What is the role of the Swansea Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Swansea Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Swansea, South Carolina

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. 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 citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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 handled in the municipal court in Swansea?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific duration.

Judges manage 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 police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion 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 city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Swansea, SC

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Swansea Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Swansea 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 an individual 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 needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Swansea Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Swansea, South Carolina?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Swansea, South Carolina?

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 Swansea Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.