Terrell Municipal Court – Terrell, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Terrell Municipal Court INformation

Court: Terrell Municipal Court
Address: “201 E Nash St, PO Box 310, Terrell, TX 75160”
Phone: 972-551-6680

City: Terrell
County: Kaufman
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Terrell Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Terrell Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, 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 charges, or contract disputes.

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 felony matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Terrell, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry 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 serve their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 Terrell?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 assist for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, 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.

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 Terrell, TX

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 Terrell Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Terrell Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter 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 available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Terrell Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Terrell, 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 misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Terrell, Texas?

Depending on the scope 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Terrell Municipal Court have?

The count 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.