Whiteface Municipal Court – Whiteface, TX

Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Whiteface Municipal Court INformation

Court: Whiteface Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 248, Whiteface, TX 79379”
Phone: 806-287-1111

City: Whiteface
County: Cochran
State: Texas

What is the role of the Whiteface Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Whiteface Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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 breaches of contract.

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 cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Whiteface, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Whiteface?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases 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 serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. 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 sent when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Whiteface, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Whiteface Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Whiteface Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Whiteface Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Whiteface, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Whiteface, Texas?

Depending on the scope 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Whiteface Municipal Court have?

The number 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 duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.