If you have received a citation for a traffic or summary criminal offense, or if you have been arrested for a summary criminal offense, then you will likely be expected to appear in your local Pennsylvania district court for an arraignment, a traffic hearing, a preliminary criminal hearing, or even a non-jury trial. Although this may seem daunting, your attorney will talk you through the process so that you feel informed and prepared before your designated court date.
Pennsylvania district courts are the first courts to hear traffic offenses, summary criminal offenses, or municipal code violations. District courts also handle landlord tenant disputes and small claims of under $12,000 in value.
District courts in Pennsylvania are presided over by one elected judge, and there is often more than one district court for a designated town or large borough or township. In fact, most counties in Pennsylvania (including Montgomery County) have between twenty and thirty district courts. The district court that you are summoned to will depend on your residence.
Norristown District Courts
District Court 38-1-16 is one of several district courts that serves the Norristown, Pennsylvania area. Specifically, it covers voting districts 2-3, 3-2, 3-3, 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3 of Norristown Borough. The address of the court is 754 East Johnson Highway in Norristown. To contact the court, the phone number is 610-279-6226, and the fax number is 610-279-2423.
The Honorable Judge Margaret Hunsicker presides over District Court 38-1-16. This means that she handles the hearings and arraignments, as well as the non-jury trials. She will be the one who makes the decisions about your guilt or innocence, as well as what sentence or penalty you will have to serve as a result of your conviction. Although the offenses handled in district court may seem relatively minor or insignificant, you may still end up facing incredibly steep penalties that can have a negative effect on you and your loved ones. A summary criminal offense conviction can get you up to $300 in fines, and even up to 90 days spent in jail.
It is therefore important that you adequately prepare a defense to present to Judge Hunsicker, in order to demonstrate to her that you do not deserve the full extent of the relevant penalty or sentence. A successful defense may get her to reduce your sentence, or even perhaps to dismiss the charges altogether in your case.
How To Develop a Strong Defense
The first thing you should do upon receiving your notice or summons to appear in district court is to read the documentation carefully, along with any citation you received. This will tell you what you are being charged with and when you are expected to appear in court.
Then, you should get in touch with one of our experienced district court attorneys. By doing so right away, you and your attorney will have plenty of time to develop a strong and convincing defense prior to your court date, and you will be able to go into your hearing with confidence and a well prepared defense.