Watts Municipal Court – Watts, OK

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Watts Municipal Court INformation

Court: Watts Municipal Court
Address: “220 2nd Street, PO Box 70, Watts, OK 74964”
Phone: 918-422-5924

City: Watts
County: Adair
State: Oklahoma

What is the role of the Watts Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Watts Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Watts, Oklahoma

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 will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Watts?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time period.

Judges administer 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Watts, OK

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Watts Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 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.

Watts 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 a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Watts Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Watts, Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction 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 Watts, Oklahoma?

Depending on the size 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 Watts Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oklahoma?

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 weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.