Wheeling Municipal Court – Wheeling, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Wheeling Municipal Court INformation

Court: Wheeling Municipal Court
Address: “1500 Chapline Street, Wheeling, WV 26003”
Phone: 304-234-3747

City: Wheeling
County: Ohio
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Wheeling Municipal Court?

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

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, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Wheeling, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition 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

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

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Wheeling, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Wheeling Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Wheeling Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 charge 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Wheeling Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Wheeling, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Wheeling, West Virginia?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Wheeling Municipal Court have?

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

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 duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.