Ware Shoals Municipal Court – Ware Shoals, SC

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Ware Shoals Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ware Shoals Municipal Court
Address: “210 McLane Avenue, PO Box 510, Ware Shoals, SC 29692”
Phone: 864-456-7478

City: Ware Shoals
County: Greenwood
State: South Carolina

What is the purpose of the Ware Shoals Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like Ware Shoals 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ware Shoals, South Carolina

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

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

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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 members to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons 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 appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Ware Shoals, SC

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ware Shoals 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Ware Shoals Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ware Shoals, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Ware Shoals, South Carolina?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ware Shoals Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people 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 complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.