A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Waco Municipal Court INformation
Court: Waco Municipal Court
Address: “201 W Waco Dr, PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702”
What is the purpose of the Waco Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Waco 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Waco, Texas
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. 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 citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 Waco?
Judges manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Waco, TX
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Waco Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Waco 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 type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Waco Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Waco, Texas?
In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Waco, Texas?
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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Waco Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.