Delaware County, Pennsylvania has thirty two district courts within its boundaries, but district courts can be found throughout the state. Each district court represents a certain group of wards or precincts within the different townships or boroughs in the state. The courts are presided over by elected judges, also called magisterial judges, who are responsible for deciding if you are innocent or guilty of the charges against you and for determining what penalties you will face.
District courts only deal with certain kinds of cases, such as municipal code violations, small civil claims under $12,000 in value, and landlord tenant disputes. But the most common types of cases they hear are traffic offenses and summary criminal offenses. Traffic violations generally include driving without a valid license, failing to yield, running a red light or a stop sign, speeding, or certain cases of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Summary criminal offenses include shoplifting, criminal mischief, underage drinking, harassment, loitering, and disorderly conduct.
If you have been arrested for one of these offenses, or if you have received a traffic ticket, the next step in the process will be to attend your proceeding in district court on the day that you have been assigned. This proceeding will be a traffic hearing, an arraignment, a preliminary criminal hearing, or a non-jury trial, depending on what you have been charged with. As soon as you know what court date you have been assigned to, contact our offices right away so that an experienced attorney can help you with your case.
Springfield District Courts
Springfield, in Delaware County, is served by more than one district court. District Court 32-2-54 specifically covers Ward 1, Ward 2 (Precincts 1 and 3), Ward 5, and Ward 6 of Springfield Township. You can get to the court itself by going to 56 Powell Road in Springfield, and you can also contact the court by calling 610-690-7668 or by sending a fax to 610-543-1920.
District Court 32-2-54 is presided over by the Honorable Judge James J. Merkins, Esquire. It is important that you go in prepared when you have your proceeding in Judge Merkins’ courtroom, because if he finds you guilty of the charges, you could be facing incredibly steep penalties. You could have to spend up to 90 days in jail, or even up to 180 days in jail if this is not your first conviction in district court. On top of that, you may have to pay a fine up to $300.
These penalties are incredibly burdensome for a simple traffic violation or summary criminal offense. However, you have a good chance at convincing the judge to reduce the penalties for your conviction, or even to dismiss your case altogether, if you go in with a strong defense. Your experienced district court attorney can help you with this.
Our lawyers have been helping people like you with their district court cases for years, and we are familiar with how the proceedings will work and what you need to do to go in prepared and to show the judge that you do not deserve the full extent of the penalties for these charges. Do not hesitate to call us as soon as you receive notice of your assigned court date.