Vincent Municipal Court – Vincent, AL

by | Oct 25, 2021

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

Vincent Municipal Court INformation

Court: Vincent Municipal Court
Address: “25 Florey St, PO Box 49, Vincent, AL 35178”
Phone: 205-672-2261

City: Vincent
County: Shelby
State: Alabama

What is the role of the Vincent Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Vincent 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Vincent, Alabama

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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 Vincent?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 assist for a specific period of time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand 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 most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time 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 Vincent, AL

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 Vincent Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1000 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Vincent Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person 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 present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Vincent Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Vincent, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Vincent, 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 Vincent Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.