police court, court with jurisdiction limited to minor offenses, chiefly the least grave misdemeanors and breaches of municipal ordinances. In practice the trial is usually held before a judge sitting without a jury. A police court may also examine persons accused of felony and commit them to jail pending indictment and trial or release them on reasonable bail. Magistrate's court, justice's court, and municipal court are other names for the police court.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.