A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Westminster Municipal Court INformation
Court: Westminster Municipal Court
Address: “100 East Windsor Street, PO Box 399, Westminster, SC 29693”
State: South Carolina
What is the role of the Westminster Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Westminster 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 matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Westminster, South Carolina
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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better help their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime 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
How are cases handled in the municipal court in Westminster?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Westminster, SC
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Westminster Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Westminster Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.
Questions ABOUT the Westminster Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Westminster, South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Westminster, South Carolina?
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 Westminster Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in South Carolina?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their credentials.