West Warwick Municipal Court – West Warwick, RI

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

West Warwick Municipal Court INformation

Court: West Warwick Municipal Court
Address: “1170 Main Street, West Warwick, RI 02893”
Phone: 401-822-9201

City: West Warwick
County: Kent
State: Rhode Island

What is the purpose of the West Warwick Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like West Warwick Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the purpose 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 infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West Warwick, Rhode Island

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may 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 makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in West Warwick?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia 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 West Warwick, RI

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

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

West Warwick Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the West Warwick Municipal Court

What is municipal court in West Warwick, Rhode Island?

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

What does the municipal court handle in West Warwick, Rhode Island?

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 Warwick 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 based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.