Wills Point Municipal Court – Wills Point, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Wills Point Municipal Court INformation

Court: Wills Point Municipal Court
Address: “120 N 5th St, PO Box 505, Wills Point, TX 75169”
Phone: 903-873-4530 ext. 2

City: Wills Point
County: Van Zandt
State: Texas

What is the role of the Wills Point Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Wills Point 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Wills Point, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Wills Point?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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 period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person 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 fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Wills Point, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Wills Point Municipal Court. 

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

Wills Point Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person 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 type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Wills Point Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Wills Point, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Wills Point, Texas?

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 Wills Point 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.