Tuscumbia Municipal Court – Tuscumbia, AL

by | Oct 25, 2021

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

Tuscumbia Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tuscumbia Municipal Court
Address: “202 E 6th St, Tuscumbia, AL 35674”
Phone: 256-386-5665

City: Tuscumbia
County: Colbert
State: Alabama

What is the purpose of the Tuscumbia Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Tuscumbia Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tuscumbia, 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 service their people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 Tuscumbia?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 manage 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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance 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 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Tuscumbia, AL

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Tuscumbia 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Tuscumbia Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tuscumbia, Alabama?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Tuscumbia, Alabama?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Tuscumbia 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.