Woodville Municipal Court – Woodville, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Woodville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Woodville Municipal Court
Address: “400 W Bluff, Woodville, TX 75979”
Phone: 409-283-3255

City: Woodville
County: Tyler
State: Texas

What is the role of the Woodville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Woodville 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, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Woodville, Texas

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 Woodville?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates 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 defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Woodville, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Woodville 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 charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Woodville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Woodville, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Woodville, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Woodville 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 elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.