The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all defendants accused of committing crimes that have been designated by the State Legislature as felonies. A felony is a criminal offense punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary, for a term that exceeds 1 year. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over all cases in which a child is alleged to have committed a delinquent act or violation of law.
The County Court has jurisdiction over all defendants accused of committing crimes which have been designated as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense which is punishable by imprisonment in a county correctional facility, except an extended term, not in excess of 1 year.
The County Court also has jurisdiction over criminal traffic cases. Criminal Traffic Laws are defined by the Florida Rules of Court as a violation that may subject a defendant upon conviction to incarceration.
Please be advised that our Deputy Clerks cannot provide legal advice. We cannot excuse you from attending a court hearing or even explain why you must attend. If you have questions about your case that cannot be answered by simply reading the documents, please contact your attorney.
County Criminal Court
Misdemeanors are divided into degrees and have maximum penalties and fines as described below. Please refer to Florida Statutes, Chapter 775 for more information regarding penalties and fines associated with misdemeanor convictions.
- First Degree Misdemeanors are punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 1 year in the county jail and by a fine not to exceed $1,000.
- Second Degree Misdemeanors are punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 days in the county jail and by a fine not to exceed $500.
Misdemeanor court is also responsible for violations of County and Municipal Ordinances, such as zoning, building, safety, boating, etc.
Criminal Traffic Laws are defined by the Florida Rules of Court as a violation that may subject a defendant upon conviction to incarceration.
Obtaining the Disposition of a Case
Our office cannot provide individuals with the outcome or disposition of a case over the phone. To obtain this information, please visit the Clerk of Courts Criminal Division. This information may also be obtained on the Clerk’s website. However, there will be a delay of time in which the disposition will be entered into the Clerk’s Case Management System.
Rules of Judicial Administration – PUBLIC ACCESS TO JUDICIAL BRANCH RECORDS, Rule 2.420 (m). Requests for access to records shall be in writing and shall be directed to the custodian. The request shall provide sufficient specificity to enable the custodian to identify the requested records. The purpose for the request does not need to be disclosed.
Felonies are divided into degrees and have maximum penalties and fines as described below. However, there are many exceptions to the general sentencing rules for defendants convicted of certain felonies or who qualify for certain enhanced penalties based upon prior convictions. See Florida Statute, Chapter 775 for more information regarding penalties and fines associated with felony convictions.
- A Capital Felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment without the eligibility for parole.
- A Life Felony is punishable by a term of life imprisonment and by a fine not to exceed $15,000.
- A First Degree Felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 years and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- A Second Degree Felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 years and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- A Third Degree Felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 5 years and by a fine not to exceed $5,000.
Once a court date has been set on a felony case the Clerk’s Office cannot change it. If there is a conflict with the date, you will need to contact your attorney.
Failure to Appear In Court
A warrant may be issued for your arrest and any bond that you have posted may be forfeited when you fail to appear for court. If you are arrested because of a failure to appear warrant you may be held in jail without bond.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 985.04 all Juvenile records are confidential. However, with proper identification the case may be reviewed by the parent, legal guardian and/or child. Court appointed and private attorneys also have access to the court files if they have filed their notice of appearance in the particular case.
Due to the inability to ascertain identity over the phone, we are not able to discuss juvenile cases over the telephone. We recommend the party visiting our office with proper identification in order for the court file to be reviewed.
Emancipation of a Juvenile
You must contact an attorney to handle this process for you.
Sealing or Expunging
Florida Statutes 943.0585 and 943.059 require that a person wishing to have his or her criminal history record sealed or expunged must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. With this certificate, the person can then petition the court for an order to seal or expunge his or her record.
If the date issued on the certificate is more than 12 months old when the subject files a petition with the court, the certificate is invalid and the applicant must re-apply to FDLE. This will help to ensure that the subject is still eligible when the court receives the petition. The necessary forms that can be used in this process may be obtained from our criminal department, or click on the link below.
- Affidavit to Expunge
- Affidavit to Seal
- Order to Expunge
- Order to Seal
- Petition to Expunge
- Petition to Seal
Please visit Seal and Expunge Process at Florida Department of Law Enforcement for information about sealing and expunging criminal history records.
Clay County Teen Court
Teen Court is a program that gives first-time offenders between the ages of 10 and 17 a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions. A youthful law violator must stand before a jury of their peers, plead guilty and accept whatever sanctions they impose.
Teens ages 13 to 17 act as the Defense Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney, Bailiff, Clerk and Jury. The only participating adult in the courtroom is the Judge. If the offender pleads guilty, accepts the sentence, and successfully completes the sanctions, their record is cleared. Teen Court is based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to be an offender when a jury of their peers decides the punishment. It is anticipated that Teen Court will interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and a healthy attitude toward authority. Teen Court challenges the offenders, as well as the volunteer teens, to perform at their highest level of ability.
Positive peer pressure can have a tremendous impact on the teenagers you will be dealing with in Teen Court. Many of these teens may not have had the same opportunities as you. Some will come from solid homes and families but some will not be so lucky. You can make a positive difference in someone’s life. Call 904-278-3602 today for further information.
Attorneys, Bailiffs, Clerks and Jurors
Every position in Teen Court, except the Judge, is held by teens. This is a court held for teenagers by teenagers. A trial routine is followed. The prosecuting and defense attorneys make opening statements, the defendant takes the stand and is questioned and then both attorneys make closing statements. The case is then handed over to the jury who decides what punishment is appropriate for the crime that was committed.
Teens Making a Difference
Join the leaders of tomorrow! Be a part of something new and exciting in Clay County. Teen Court offers you an opportunity to get hands on experience in the judicial process. If you want to be an attorney, law enforcement officer, social worker, etc. Teen Court is an excellent opportunity for you.
For further information
Teen Court Coordinator
Phone: 529-3602 or 278-3602
The Criminal Department handles all appeals from convictions and court rulings for Circuit Criminal Court and County Criminal Court in Clay County. For information on how to appeal, you may either contact an attorney or research the Florida Statutes and/or the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Appeal processing fees must be paid at the time the Notice of Appeal is filed with the Clerk’s Office. The Florida Rules of Court and Florida Supreme Court websites also have sample forms to assist you in an appeal.
Normally there is no hearing involved with the appeal process unless an attorney or defendant requests one and it is granted by the appellate court. If the appellate court requires a hearing, you will be notified of the time and date of the hearing by the appellate court clerk’s office.
Information regarding pro se litigation at the appellate level can be found in the Pro Se Handbook, which is available at the Florida Appellate Practice Section.
For the status on an appeal filed in the Circuit Court, you may contact the Clerk’s office at 904-284-6302, ext. 2032. For the status on an appeal filed in the District Court of Appeal, you may contact the District Court’s office at 850-488-6151.
Failure to Pay
Failure to pay your outstanding fines, fees and court costs within 90 days of sentencing will result in the suspension of your driver’s license. The Clerk of Courts pursuant to Florida Statute 322.245(5)(a) will notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) that you have failed to pay your financial obligations. All fines, fees and court costs must be paid in full to clear the suspension with the DHSMV.
Upon payment in full the Clerk will provide an Affidavit to Reinstate Driver’s License Privilege for submission to the DHSMV. The first affidavit will be provided at no charge; however any additional affidavits will be $7.00 each.
For a felony or misdemeanor case, a reinstatement fee must be paid to any driver’s license office in order to have your driving privileges reinstated. Please contact the local driver’s license office to determine the amount of the fee.
Clay County has contracted with a third party collection agency to collect outstanding fines, fees and court costs which are owed to us. Should you fail to pay all of your costs within 90 days of sentencing, your account will be turned over to the collection agency resulting in an additional 40% of the total amount due. The collection agency will make contact with you to collect this debt.
Form of Payment
Payments can be made with cash, check, credit card, money order or a cashier’s check. Payments can be made in person, by mail or by phone 904-278-4772. We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. A 3.5% convenience fee will be charged on all credit card transactions.
- State Attorney’s Office: 904-269-6319
- Public Defender’s Office: 904-269-6318
- Department of Corrections: 904-213-3094
- Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles – Green Cove Springs location: 904-284-6320
- Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles – Orange Park location: 904-269-1400
- Department of Juvenile Justice: 904-529-2330