Welch Municipal Court – Welch, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Welch Municipal Court INformation

Court: Welch Municipal Court
Address: “88 Howard Street, Welch, WV 24801”
Phone: 304-436-3113

City: Welch
County: McDowell
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Welch Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Welch Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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 felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Welch, West Virginia

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

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

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

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. 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 members to serve for a specific time period.

Judges 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
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to 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 regular municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual 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 place, 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 Welch, WV

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Welch Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Welch Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Welch, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Welch, West Virginia?

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 Welch Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.