Police Court Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Police Court, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Police Court?

Known as Jutice’s Court, municipal court or Majistrate’s court, it is a lower level court which has limited jurisdiction to handle the minor crimes (misdemeanors)and breaches of common municipal laws like traffic violations.It arranges for preliminary hearings, and trials and would also examine the case and decides if it need to be heard in some superior courts at all. If not, the judge presides over the case, without the jury, and gives the verdict as per the crime.

History and Meaning of Police Court

The Police Court, also known as Municipal Court or Justice’s Court, is a type of lower court that deals with minor criminal offenses and breaches of common municipal laws like traffic violations. Historically, these courts have existed in the United States since the 1800s to address issues related to public order and safety. The primary function of these courts is to conduct preliminary hearings, arrange trials, and decide whether a case should be heard in a superior court.

Examples of Police Court

  1. John was pulled over for a traffic violation and was issued a ticket. He later appeared before the Police Court to contest the charge against him.
  2. The city’s Police Court deals with criminal cases such as disorderly conduct, petty theft, and other minor offenses.
  3. If someone is arrested for a drunk-driving offense, they may have to appear in the Police Court for their arraignment.

Legal Terms Similar to Police Court

  1. Superior Court: A higher court with broader jurisdiction and the authority to hear more significant legal cases.
  2. Municipal Court: Similar to the Police Court, it is a lower court that deals with traffic violations and misdemeanors.
  3. Circuit Court: A state-level court that hears both civil and criminal cases at a county or circuit level.