You may have heard of district court before, but you may not know exactly what happens in district court, which can be stressful if you have received a notice or summons to appear in your local court after an arrest or a citation. Our attorneys are ready to help you through the process so that you understand how the system works, what you need to do before your court date, and how to ensure that you do not have to bear the heavy burden of the penalties and sentences that often accompany a conviction in district court.
Pennsylvania’s court system divides up cases so that certain courts hear certain kinds of cases. District courts, also called magisterial courts, are the most common types of courts in the state. these courts hear summary criminal offense cases, traffic violations, municipal code violations, landlord tenant disputes, and cases of small civil claims. Each county has several district courts, and each court serves a certain number of areas within the county, whether it is entire townships and boroughs or specific wards within those areas. If you are unsure where you need to appear, you can call the Administrative Office for Magisterial District Judges at 610-565-6990.
Upper Darby District Courts
There are several different district courts in the Upper Darby area, with each one serving a certain number of wards. District Court 32-1-33 covers Millbourne, as well as certain areas of Upper Darby. These areas are Ward 5 (Precincts 1, 7 and 10), Ward 6 (Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and 12), and Ward 7 (Precincts 3, 4, 5 and 8).
The court is located at the Barclay Square Building at 1550 Garrett Road in Upper Darby. You can call the court at 610-626-6900 or send a fax to 610-623-0463. The court is presided over by the Honorable Judge Harry J. Karapalides, Esquire.
In Judge Karapalides’ courtroom, you are likely facing a charge of a traffic violation (which can include speeding, running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield, certain DUI cases, or driving with a suspended license), or a charge of a summary criminal offense (which usually means a charge of loitering, shoplifting, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, underage drinking, or harassment). After your arrest or your citation for one of these offenses, you will receive notice of your court date. This is when you need to speak to an experienced Delaware County district court attorney right away.
The reason it is so important to speak to a lawyer is because the penalties for these offenses can be high if you do not come prepared with a strong defense. No one wants to face a fine of hundreds of dollars, or weeks or even months in jail, for an offense as seemingly minor as the ones handled in district court. To avoid these penalties, your lawyer can give a defense that will show Judge Karapalides that you do not deserve the full extent of these penalties, or even that you case should just be dismissed.
Be sure to contact our offices as soon as you know when your court date is, because then you will have the most amount of time to prepare before you must appear for your arraignment, preliminary criminal hearing, non-jury trial, or traffic hearing.