A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the county or city level.
West Blocton Municipal Court INformation
Court: West Blocton Municipal Court
Address: “1139 Main St, PO Box 187, West Blocton, AL 35184”
City: West Blocton
What is the role of the West Blocton Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like West Blocton 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courts 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 matters.
TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West Blocton, Alabama
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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 West Blocton?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in West Blocton, AL
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the West Blocton Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1000 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 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.
West Blocton 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the West Blocton Municipal Court
What is municipal court in West Blocton, Alabama?
In Alabama, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in West Blocton, Alabama?
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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the West Blocton Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?
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 precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.