Warren Municipal Court – Warren, RI

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Warren Municipal Court INformation

Court: Warren Municipal Court
Address: “Town Hall 514 Main Street, Warren, RI 02885”
Phone: 401-289-0630

City: Warren
County: Bristol
State: Rhode Island

What is the purpose of the Warren Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Warren Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, 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, accident cases, 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 bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Warren, Rhode Island

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Warren?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 serve for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the court 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Warren, RI

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 offenses in municipal courts 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Warren Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge 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 Warren Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Warren, Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Warren, Rhode Island?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Warren Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Rhode Island?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.