At your arraignment, you will have an opportunity to complete an Affidavit of Indigent Status form, and request the appointment of a public defender.
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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:
Criminal Traffic charges include, but are not limited to:
A program known as the Clerk Option may be available for individuals charged with:
This option enables an individual to forgo a court appearance by entering a plea of nolo contendere and paying the mandatory cost of $228. By choosing this option and providing valid proof of compliance, the Clerk of Court can withhold adjudication. This option is authorized by Florida Statute 318.14(10)(a).
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are not eligible for this option, and it can only be exercised once in 12 months and no more than three times in a lifetime.
Select the Clerk Option in 3 Easy Steps:
This process must be completed at least 2 days before the first court hearing.
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.
It is your responsibility to notify the Clerk’s office of your current address, in writing, at:Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Court CriminalP.O. Box 9000Drawer CC-10Bartow, FL 33831
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.
You may call the County Court Criminal Department 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.
We accept cash, check/traveler’s check/money order, and credit card/debit card.
Clerk of Court.
You may make your payments at any of our three locations.
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.
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 payment due. Otherwise, the balance will be refunded to the depositor by mail, generally within 14 days of the close of each case.
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 Florida Bar, select Member Services, select "The Florida Rules of Procedure are now online", select the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and then select Rule 3.170(I).