Circuit Criminal FAQ's
To obtain information on a Criminal case, search our online records..
Frequently Asked Questions:
WHAT IS A FELONY?
HOW CAN I CHANGE MY COURT DATE?
HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT A CASE?
Due to the confidential nature of juvenile cases, you will not find these cases on the system. Direct your inquiries to the Juvenile Department service counter also located in all courthouses.
Personal assistance may be obtained on felony
cases at the service counter of each division.
For information call the office of the State Attorney at:
To find out more information please visit the Monroe County Sheriff's website.
Telephone numbers are:
Read your copy of the "Restitution Order". This document will list the provisions regarding restitution payments.
If you are not on probation or community control and you
were ordered to make restitution payments to the Clerk of Courts, they should be made to the sentencing location. Be sure to indicate
that the payment is for "restitution", include your name and complete case number so payment is posted to the proper case.
Money orders, personal check (no two party checks), or bank draft only. DO NOT SEND CASH.
The Clerks Office cannot pardon, defer, or alter fines imposed by the Court.
If you are on probation or community control, call:
**The Clerks Office cannot pardon, defer, or alter fines imposed by the Court.
You will be notified of any change in this date by mail. All notices will be sent to the address that you gave when you were arrested.
If you change your mailing address, it is your
responsibility to notify the Clerks Office in writing
Notification of change of address is very important. Your failure to appear for your court date could result in you being re-arrested or taken into custody.
If your mailing address changes, you must submit your new
address in person or by mail to the appropriate department:
Failure on your part to notify this office of your address change could result in you failing to appear for a court date. This, in turn, could result in your re-arrest.
There are very strict criteria for sealing or expunging court records. Some of
the requirements are:
You may be eligible to have court records pertaining to your case sealed or expunged. By Florida law, there are specific charges that cannot be sealed or expunged regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld.
There are significant differences between a sealed record and a record that has been expunged.
A sealed record could be opened for inspection by a judge, you, your attorney, a criminal justice agency, and in specific situations, a prospective employer.
An expunged record would no longer exist, since the file and any references to it are destroyed.
The Clerks Office has a free packet that provides you with detailed instructions on the regulations governing sealed and expunged court files.
There are fees, which will be charged for processing requests. The initial fee charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is $75.00. There are additional fees charged by local law enforcement agencies.
If the judge approves the motion, your record will be sealed or expunged. The Clerks Office will then provide certified copies of the order to those agencies that have a record of your arrest so that they may seal or expunge their records as well. The Clerks Office will charge you $25.00 for this service.
For additional information contact:
Spectators are expected to dress and deport themselves properly while in attendance of any court session.
WHAT IS AN ARRAIGNMENT?
In some instances, the case might be disposed of at the arraignment. In most instances, however, the case is "continued" to another court event at a later date.
If the case is continued, you will be served a "Notice to Appear" while you are attending the arraignment court event. This "notice" will list the date, time, and place you are to appear for the next court event regarding your case.
Occasionally, for various reasons, the Court might change the date, time, and/or place of your next court event. You will be notified of this change by U.S. Mail. It is very important that you ensure that the address listed in the court case file is correct. If you change your mailing address, you must promptly report the change to the Clerks Office in person or in writing. Your failure to appear for a court event could result in you being arrested and subject to additional penalties.
If you have an attorney, he or she may enter a written plea in your behalf and waive your appearance at the arraignment. If not, you must appear. Be sure to check with your attorney as to whether you must appear.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I FAIL TO APPEAR?
The Clerks Office cannot set-aside, recall, or reinstate a "Bench Warrant". Only the Courts have this authority.
HOW CAN I GET A "CRIMINAL RECORDS" SEARCH & LETTER?
The search will only include Monroe County information.
Payment must be made before the record search can be conducted.
I NEED A HARDSHIP DRIVER'S LICENSE. WHAT CAN I DO?
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV), through a hearing officer, determines the eligibility of applicants for Hardship Drivers Licenses.
For additional information, contact:
DRIVERS LICENSE REINSTATEMENT
The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle (DHSMV) can also reinstate your license for a fee of $25.00. You must have proof that all outstanding suspensions in every county in the State of Florida have been satisfied.
For additional information, contact:
I WOULD LIKE AN ATTORNEY BUT CAN'T AFFORD ONE. WHAT CAN I DO?
By law, the Clerks Office cannot provide you with legal advice or recommend a particular attorney. This includes the filling out of documents and forms.
If you have been charged with a CRIMINAL offense and cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for the services of the Public Defender.
You are eligible for the services of the Public Defender if you are charged with a felony, misdemeanor or criminal traffic case. If you are charged with a traffic citation that does not carry the possible penalty of jail time, you are not entitled to the services of the Public Defender. Also, if you are involved in a civil case or a family law case, you are not entitled to the services of the Public Defender. If you are involved in any of these types of cases, you should not contact the Indigence Examiner unless you are so ordered by the judge. In addition, the Indigence Examiner can only assist you in Monroe County cases. He is unable to assist you if you are charged with a case in another county.
Currently, a person qualifies for representation by the Office of the Public Defender if he or she meets the following criteria: (I) their net weekly income does not exceed $412.98 plus an additional $145.19 per each dependant in the household; (2) they do not have any disposable or equitable property or goods which can be used to secure a private attorney; and (3) they have not already hired a private attorney to represent them in additional cases, with few exceptions.
There is a state-mandated application fee of $40 to apply for the Public Defender. If you do not meet the qualifications listed above, you should not waste your $40 to apply. Instead, seek the assistance of private counsel. The standards for qualifying for the Public Defender are set by State Statute. Your application will be a sworn court document and perjury laws apply to any information contained in it.
You may make application with the 16th Judicial Circuit's Indigence Examiner, Fred Pearce, by calling 305-292-3587 or by faxing 305-295-3652.