Williamsburg Municipal Court – Williamsburg, NM

Oct 26, 2021

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

Williamsburg Municipal Court INformation

Court: Williamsburg Municipal Court
Address: “309 Veater, Williamsburg, NM 87942”
Phone: 575-894-1050

City: Williamsburg
County: Sierra
State: New Mexico

What is the role of the Williamsburg Municipal Court?

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

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

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Williamsburg, New Mexico

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. 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 service their people 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, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Williamsburg?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 serve for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize 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 next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court 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 never appear, they may be found guilty anyways 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Williamsburg, NM

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Williamsburg 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Williamsburg Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Williamsburg, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Williamsburg, New Mexico?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Williamsburg Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years 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 lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.