Trinity Municipal Court – Trinity, AL

by | Oct 25, 2021

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

Trinity Municipal Court INformation

Court: Trinity Municipal Court
Address: “35 Preston Dr, Trinity, AL 35673”
Phone: 256-353-4940

City: Trinity
County: Morgan
State: Alabama

What is the role of the Trinity Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Trinity 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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Trinity, Alabama

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors 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 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 Trinity?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term 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 Trinity, AL

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Trinity Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Trinity Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Trinity Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Trinity, Alabama?

In Alabama, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Trinity, Alabama?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Trinity Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.