Depending on the jurisdiction, certain misdemeanor crimes are written into municipal court rather than county or state court.
While the penalties can differ, these charges can still carry significant consequences, including jail, fines and classes. Municipal convictions can be reported on a person’s criminal history.
It is important to take these charges as serious as state court charges. The rules in municipal court differ from those in state court. The municipal system works must faster than the state system. For example, speedy trial, which is the amount of time the court and prosecution have to get your case tried after entering not guilty plea, is 90 days in municipal court rather than six months in state court. In municipal court, while you are generally entitled to a jury trial, you must specifically request and pay for a jury trial whereas in state court, no such formal request is necessary and no jury trial fee is required. Additionally, in municipal court, you must make a specific request for the number of jurors you want to hear your case whereas in state court the number of jurors is determined by the severity of the charges.