A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Valley Head Municipal Court INformation
Court: Valley Head Municipal Court
Address: “41 Anderson St, PO Box 329, Valley Head, AL 35989”
City: Valley Head
What is the role of the Valley Head Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Valley Head Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
In other situations, 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 infractions, or contract disputes.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Valley Head, Alabama
Municipal courts are the entry level 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 service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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
what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Valley Head?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Valley Head, AL
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Valley Head Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Valley Head Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Valley Head Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Valley Head, Alabama?
In Alabama, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Valley Head, 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 Valley Head Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.