A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Tonasket Municipal Court INformation
Court: Tonasket Municipal Court
Address: “209 S Whitcomb Avenue, PO Box 487, Tonasket, WA 98855”
What is the role of the Tonasket Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Tonasket 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tonasket, Washington
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Tonasket?
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 suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
- start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Tonasket, WA
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 Tonasket Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Tonasket 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 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.
Common Questions ABOUT the Tonasket Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Tonasket, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Tonasket, Washington?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Tonasket Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.