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police court

n. in some states a type of municipal court which handles misdemeanors (minor crimes) and traffic violations, as well as conducting arraignments (first appearances) and preliminary hearings of those accused of felonies to decide if there is cause to send the defendant to a higher court for trial. Police courts only handle criminal cases-unlike those municipal courts which also have jurisdiction over some civil cases.

See also: municipal court  preliminary hearing  arraignment 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications