General Misdemeanor Case Questions

What is a misdemeanor of a criminal traffic charge?

A misdemeanor is any offense that is punishable under Florida laws, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by imprisonment in the local county jail. Misdemeanor charges include, but are not limited to, simple/domestic battery, criminal mischief, resist arrest without violence, possession of marijuana, prostitution, passing worthless bank checks, petite theft, and possession of alcohol by a minor. Criminal Traffic charges include, but are not limited to, driving under the influence, knowing driving while license privilege is under suspension, reckless driving, racing on the highway, and leaving the scene of an accident.

How do I request a continuance of my court date?

No case will be continued without judge approval, unless you are scheduled for arraignment. Requests to continue any court proceedings must be done by filing a motion. You can file the motion yourself, or if you have an attorney, he/she will file the motion for you. Arraignments can be continued ONLY one time without judge approval and must be done two days prior to your court date.

Who should I notify if my address changes?

It is your responsibility to notify the Clerk’s office of your current address, in writing, at the Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Court Criminal, P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-10, Bartow, FL 33831-9000.

What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?

Failure to appear could result in a misdemeanor judge issuing a capias for your arrest. You may forfeit the bond you posted, thus losing your money or collateral. Should you be arrested for failure to appear, you may be held in jail with or without a bond.

How do I find information about my case or other misdemeanor cases?

You may call the County Court Criminal Department, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for general information regarding court dates, judge/attorney assigned to a case, and responses to motions.

Most files are public record, and can be viewed online.

What form of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check/traveler's check/money order, and credit card/debit card.

Who do I make the check or money order payable to?

Clerk of Court.

Where can I pay my court fine/fees and costs?

You may make your payments at any of our three locations.

How do I have a public defender appointed to my case?

At your arraignment, you will have an opportunity to complete an Affidavit of Indigent Status form, and request the appointment of a public defender.

May I file a document by fax?

The County Criminal Department will accept faxed documents. All parties using facsimile to file documents must make arrangements with each division for the payment of applicable fees before filing documents.

May I file pleadings after office hours?


How do I get my bond money back now that my case has been disposed?

At the conclusion of your case, the Clerk will withhold from the return of a cash bond, posted on behalf of a criminal defendant by a person other than a bail bond agent, sufficient funds to pay any unpaid court fees, court costs, and criminal penalties. If the amount posted is greater than the fees, costs, and penalties due, the balance will be applied to any case that remains with a payment due. Otherwise, the balance will be refunded to the depositor by mail, generally within 14 days of the close of each case.

How do I withdraw my plea?

You may want to seek the advice of an attorney. You may file a Pro Se motion with the sentencing judge. For more information, visit, click on Member Services, click on “The Florida Rules of Procedure are now online”, select the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and then select Rule 3.170(I).


Forms & Documents