Magistrate Court

iStock_000002402120SmallLike Circuit Courts in West Virginia, the Magistrate Courts handle both criminal and civil matters. The attorneys at Pepper and Nason have the experience necessary to advise and help guide you through the Magistrate Court procedures whether your case is civil in nature or criminal.

Civil Matters

Magistrate Courts in West Virginia only handle civil matters in which the amount in controversy is $5,000 or less. Magistrate Courts cannot handle matters relating to ownership of real estate. A common civil dispute handled by the Magistrate Courts are landlord/tenant disputes, including eviction proceedings.

The attorneys at Pepper and Nason are highly knowledgeable and experienced in handling civil matters before Magistrate Courts and can help you prepare and present your case to the Magistrate Court to maximize your chances of success.

Criminal Matters

If you have been charged with a felony, trial in your case will ultimately be handled in Circuit Court. However, an important hearing, called the preliminary hearing, will take place before the Magistrate Court. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is for the Magistrate to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a crime was committed and whether the person charged committed it. This provides an important opportunity to gather evidence that may support your innocence. Prosecutors will often offer incentives, such as bond reduction, in exchange for your waiver of the preliminary hearing. Before doing so, you should consult an attorney. The attorneys at Pepper and Nason are here to help.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, which by definition carries a penalty of less than a year in prison, trial of your case may be tried in Magistrate Court. Often, prosecutors will offer you a plea bargain the first time you appear in Magistrate Court. The attorneys at Pepper and Nason are experienced at negotiating with prosecutors to ensure you receive the best plea bargain possible.

Call us today at 304-346-0361 to discuss your Magistrate Court case.