The way that district courts (also called magisterial courts) in Pennsylvania work is that there is one elected judge who presides over the hearings, arraignments, and non-jury trials that occur in district court as a result of certain kinds of offenses or suits. The kinds of cases heard in district court in Pennsylvania are summary criminal offenses, traffic violations, municipal code violations, landlord tenant suit, and small claims (for under $12,000).
In order to best prepare for your hearing, you should note that although these offenses are often referred to as “minor” offenses, the penalties or sentences that can accompany them are not minor at all. In fact, you could be facing expensive fines or even jail time if you are convicted in Pennsylvania district court, so you should spend some time working with your attorney to develop a strong defense.
Limerick District Court
In Pennsylvania, each county, including Montgomery County, has several different district courts. Each district court is designed to represent a certain number of voting districts within the townships and boroughs of the county, so your district court will be determined by what voting district you live in. If you need to determine what district court you need to report to, read your materials carefully or visit http://www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1413.
For example, District 38-1-19 is located at 497 West Ridge Pike in Limerick, and it serves Royersford Borough, Limerick Township, and Upper Providence Township (specifically voting districts Mingo 1 and 2, Trappe, and Mont Clare). To call the court, the number is 610-495-8440, and to send a fax, the number is 610-495-8442.
District Court 38-1-19 is presided over by the Honorable Judge Walter F. Gadzicki, Jr. Judge Gadzicki handles summary criminal offense cases such as loitering, shoplifting and petty theft, disorderly conduct, underage drinking, harassment, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Judge Gadzicki also handles traffic violations including failure to yield, running stop signs or stop lights, driving with a suspended license, and speeding.
Unfortunately, the kinds of penalties or sentences that accompany a conviction for a traffic violation or a summary criminal offense can be quite severe and can pose a heavy burden on you and your family. For instance, you may be facing a fine up to $300, or even up to 90 days in jail for a simple conviction. Your time in jail may even go up to 180 days for a repeat offense.
Working With An Experienced Lawyer
This is why it is so important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you receive your notice or summons so you have plenty of time before your court hearing date to work with your attorney. Your lawyer will assist you with preparing a solid defense and will help you practice before your hearing so that you feel confident going before Judge Gadzicki.
Our attorneys have handled hundreds of cases like yours in district courts throughout Montgomery County, and we will make sure you are informed and prepared. Do not hesitate to call our offices and get in touch with an experienced lawyer today.