Wheeler Municipal Court – Wheeler, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Wheeler Municipal Court INformation

Court: Wheeler Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 452, Wheeler, TX 79096”
Phone: 806-826-5768

City: Wheeler
County: Wheeler
State: Texas

What is the role of the Wheeler Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Wheeler 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Wheeler, Texas

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

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

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time.

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 law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person 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 don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Wheeler, TX

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 Wheeler Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 courts 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Wheeler 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 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 available.

Questions ABOUT the Wheeler Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Wheeler, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Wheeler, Texas?

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 Wheeler Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.