Tahoka Municipal Court – Tahoka, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Tahoka Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tahoka Municipal Court
Address: “Tahoka City Hall 1807 N Main St, PO Box 300, Tahoka, TX 79373”
Phone: 806-561-4284

City: Tahoka
County: Lynn
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Tahoka Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Tahoka 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 breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tahoka, Texas

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help 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 tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes 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 handled in the municipal court in Tahoka?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 board to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Tahoka, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Tahoka Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location 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 type of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Tahoka Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tahoka, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Tahoka, Texas?

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 Tahoka Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.