Municipal Court – FAQs
How much is the fine for my ticket (citation)?
Please refer to Schedule of Fines and Court Cost (Blue form; front and back)
What is my court date?
A court date is printed on the lower left hand portion of the ticket; hand written by the officer. (Provide a sample citation pointing out the exact location.)
I have a past due ticket. What can I do?
The first step is to report to the Court Office, which is located at 216 E. Prichard Avenue, and advise the court magistrate. You will be required to pay a $50.00 contempt of court fine for each ticket and a new court date will be provided to you. Following your new court date, you will be expected to appear in court and make a plea of guilty or innocent. The judge will inform you of your next step(s) after you enter a plea.
If I am guilty and just wish to pay the ticket in person. What can I do?
Report to the Prichard Municipal Complex (located at 216 E. Prichard Avenue). Enter the west side of the complex and proceed straight-forward down the hallway. Towards the end of the hallway, look to your left for the Courts sign which is located above two (2) payment windows. Bring your original ticket with you, sign a plea of guilty waiver, and make the payment. Your payment must be made before the scheduled court date.
May I mail my payment?
Yes, but you must sign the back of your ticket, secure a money order, make it payable to the City of Prichard, and send the ticket and money order by mail.
DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE MAIL.
What if I think I’m not guilty?
You must appear before a judge and enter a plea and a trail date will be set for you to come to court.
Do you accept personal checks?
No, we accept cash, money orders, and most credit cards. **NOTE: Some tickets require a Court Appearance. Refer to Schedule of Fines and Court Cost Form**
Will I get a receipt proving I paid my fine?
Yes; however, if you mail your payment, it must include a stamped, self addressed envelop for you to receive a receipt.
Can I change my court date?
No, only a judge can change the date. The only exception is IF you are prepared to pay a fee of $50.00 for each offense/ticket. The Court has identified this payment as a reasonable fee for Contempt of Court and administrative processing.
What will happen if I miss my court date?
In traffic offenses, a failure to appear (FTA) notice will be mailed to your last known address as a courtesy on the first FTA. This notice will advise you of a new court date. Any subsequent FTA will result in a warrant for your arrest. In criminal offenses, a warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest.
I can’t afford a lawyer. Will one be appointed for me?
Yes, the judge will ask you some questions that will determine your eligibility.
Is counseling available through the courts? Will I have to pay for it?
Yes, counseling is available through the courts; however, you will have to pay for this service.
What happens if I fail to follow the judge’s order?
An arrest warrant will be issued for your arrest on each charge. Upon your arrest, you must post a cash bond before you are released.
Do I have an outstanding warrant?
All inquiries should be addressed to the Prichard Police Department’s Docket Room at (251) 452-7883. This number is available 24 hours, 7days a week, and 365 days annually.
What should I do if I discover I have a warrant?
Turn yourself in to the Prichard Police Department the Docket Room, post a bond, and report to court.
What is a bond? How do I post bond?
A bond is a sum of money paid as bail or surety. You may post a bond by calling a bonding company. There is a list of bonding companies posted in the jail.
I missed my court date and now I have a warrant, but I have a good excuse. Can I talk to a judge about having the warrant removed?
Yes, but this is an off docket event and will not be addressed unless you contact the court magistrate before cases are heard by the judge. He/she will address your issue after all docket cases have been heard (at their discretion).
What is community service?
Community Service is a sentence that allows you to dismiss fine(s) by working in the community, usually at City Hall, the Public Works Department, or another authorized site, in lieu of paying the fine(s).
Why must I perform Community Service?
Community Service is a Court Order handed down by a judge of the courts and is like any other ruling. It must be performed as specified and will be granted on a case by case basis.
Where will I be required to work, as a community service worker?
A judge may sentence you to community service; however, the Warden will make the actual assignment. All community service workers must report to the City’s Docket Room at 8:00 a.m. where they will receive their assignment. All community service work will end at 5:00 p.m., unless approved by the Warden or his designee.
How will my community service work be calculated?
Each full day of work completed will be deducted at a rate of $25.00 per day (i.e., if your fine is $100.00, you must complete 4 full days of work, which would complete your sentence). Time disputes should be discussed with the Warden or work supervisor.
Will I be paid for doing community service work?
No, there is no exchange of money, at any time. Refer to above statement.
Who is responsible for keeping a record of my community service work?
Both you and the supervisor you report to should keep accurate records of the amount of time worked. The Municipal Court office will advise the judge of compliance or failure to his/her order based on both reports. NOTE: You should check with your supervisor at the end of each day to ensure you are receiving the proper credit.