Whitewright Municipal Court – Whitewright, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Whitewright Municipal Court INformation

Court: Whitewright Municipal Court
Address: “Whitewright City Hall 206 W Grand St, PO Box 966, Whitewright, TX 75491”
Phone: 903-364-2219

City: Whitewright
County: Grayson
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Whitewright Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Whitewright Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Whitewright, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Whitewright?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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.

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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Whitewright, 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 accurate for the Whitewright Municipal Court. 

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

Whitewright 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 a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Whitewright Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Whitewright, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Whitewright, 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 Whitewright Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

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 chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.