I have handled hundreds of traffic and criminal cases in Gulf Shores Municipal Court. I have seen many people go to court without an attorney and have paid the price for that bad decision. That is why I always recommend that if you have a charge pending in the City of Gulf Shores, you should always seek legal representation. At the very least, please consult with the defense lawyer before your scheduled trial date.
My first goal as an attorney representing clients charged with a criminal charge in Gulf Shores Municipal Court is to keep them from having a conviction. If you have never been arrested before, you may be able to get the criminal charge dismissed after you completed certain court requirements. However, you need an attorney to negotiate offer for you. Also if you are from out of state or don’t live in the area, there may be a possibility of negotiating the plea agreement through the mail.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer:
- To know how the court works and how it differs from the other courts.
- To be your advocate with the prosecutor.
- To to negotiated a deferred prosecution.
- To possibly handle your case without you going to court.
- To negotiate fines and court costs.
- To review the case to determine if the prosecution has a case against you.
Where is the Municipal Court Located?
The courthouse is located at 203 Clubhouse Dr., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Their phone number is (251) 968-6780. The judge is in Gulf Shores is the Honorable Frank Hollon. The prosecutor is the Honorable Ken Raines.
When Does the Gulf Shores Court Meet?
The Municipal Court has a court docket twice a month. This docket is held on the first and third Thursday of every month at 3:30 PM. The first court date on the first Thursday, is an arraignment docket. An arraignment docket, you can either plead guilty or or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the judge will simply sentence you. If you plead not guilty, the judge will give you a trial date. Just because you have a trial date set, does not mean you have to have a trial. If you have an attorney you can still work out a plea agreement at that trial date.
If I am Found Guilty or Plead Guilty What are the Penalties?
The court handles all types of misdemeanors and traffic charges. As mentioned above, if you plead guilty, the judge will then impose his sentence on you. This sentence may be a fine up to $500 plus court costs along with up to a six-month jail sentence. There is one exception to this rule. This is in cases where you been charged with DUI. With the DUI you can be sentenced up to a year in jail. Additionally you can be fined up to $10,100 plus court costs. Some people mistakenly believe that he or she won’t go to child because they have never had a charge before. I have seen people go to jail when even though they do not have any past criminal record.
Will I get a Jury Trial at Municipal Court?
Some people mistakenly think that they will get a jury trial in Municipal Court. In Municipal Court, the judge is the jury. The judge is the trier of fact. The simply means he is the one that hears the evidence and decides whether or not you are guilty or innocent. The judge is also the one that imposes the sentence on you if you are found guilty.
Can I Appeal the Judge’s Ruling?
Yes, you can appeal the judge’s ruling to the Circuit Court of Baldwin County. However, you must do this within 14 days of the judge’s sentence and you must post an appeal bond. At the time you appeal your case, you must indicated that you want a jury trial or not. If you do not request a jury trial, then a circuit court judge will hear your case. Any appeals from the municipal court is de novo which means you have a brand new trial at the circuit court level
Do I have to Pay My Fine When I am Sentenced?
Typically, the court will require you to pay some money the date of your trial date. You will then be able to make payments on your fines and court costs through a program offered by the Judicial Correctional Services (“JCS”). Of course, this service is offered but requires a money fee. You have to apply and be accepted. If you have failed to pay all of your court cost and fines before or you failed to show up to court, then you may be rejected. At that point, all your court costs and fines are due that day. If you do not have the money, you will have to serve out the money you own in jail at a rate of $25 dollars a day.