Felony

Felony handles all types of criminal cases, primarily felony but also misdemeanor and traffic charges. A felony is any criminal offense that is punishable under Florida laws, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary. Felony charges include Murder, Manslaughter, Burglary, Grand Theft, Kidnapping, Forgery and Uttering, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Child Abuse, Sexual Battery and Worthless Checks. Felonies are classified for purposes of sentencing into the following categories: a) Capital felony; b) Life felony; c) Felony of the first degree; d) Felony of the second degree; and e) Felony of the third degree.

Misdemeanor

Misdemeanors are violations of the law that are less serious than felony offenses. They are punishable by a fine, probation, and/or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, as opposed to a state prison sentence on a felony charge. Misdemeanor offenses include petit theft, worthless checks, prostitution-related charges, possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, resisting arrest without violence, battery (domestic violence), and assault. Ordinance violation cases are punishable by a fine or civil penalty.

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Forms and Assistance

Application for Exoneration
Bail Bond Agent Forms

Circuit Probation forms
Motion to Modify
Motion to Terminate
Criminal Indigence Application

Expunge & Seal forms
Adult Seal & Expunge Instructions
FAQs: Sealing & Expunging Criminal History Records in Florida
FDLE Seal & Expunge Forms, FAQs, & Instructions
Felony Expunge Packet
Felony Seal Packet
Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking Victim Expunge Packet
Misdemeanor & Criminal Traffic Expunge Packet
Misdemeanor & Criminal Traffic Seal Packet
State Attorney Office – Seal & Expunge Instructions
West Florida Center for Trafficking Advocacy

Criminal FAQ'S (850) 606-4070 (Felony)/(850) 606-4130 (Misdemeanor)

How can I have my case sealed or expunged?

  • Forms and instructions are on our website, www.clerk.leon.fl.us; click Forms & Assistance in the 1st box; go to County/Circuit Criminal, and review the list under Expunge & Seal Forms.
  • To see if you are eligible to seal or expunge a record, click here.

How do I change my court date after notification?

Our office cannot change your court date. Please contact your attorney to help you with this problem.

How do I find information about my cases?

How do I get a certified copy of my record?

  • This form is on our website; click Forms & Assistance in the 1st box; go to General, and select Records Request / Request for Copies.
  • You may make your request by mail to Leon County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller, ATTN: Criminal Customer Assistance Division, 301 S. Monroe Street, Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Please allow 5 - 10 business days to process.

How do I get a new attorney assigned to my case if I have a conflict with my present attorney?

You may request, at any of your court proceedings, to speak with the presiding judge regarding your issues with counsel.

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

At the conclusion of your case, we will withhold from the return of a cash bond, posted on behalf of a defendant by a person other than a bail bond agent, funds to pay any unpaid court fees, court costs, and penalties. If the amount posted is greater than the fees, costs, and penalties due, the balance will be refunded to the depositor by mail, generally within 10 days of the close of each case. You may contact staff in our Special Processes Division, at 850-606-4001, for more information about your bond.

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.
  • Prior to arraignment, you may file an Application for Determination of Criminal Indigent Status. This form is on our website; click Forms & Assistance in the 1st box; go to County/Circuit Criminal, and select Criminal Indigence Application. A determination will be made by the Clerk based on the information in the Affidavit. If you are determined indigent by the Clerk, the public defender will be appointed.

How do I have my civil rights restored?

The Florida Department of Corrections informs and educates inmates and offenders on community supervision about the restoration of civil rights and assists eligible inmates and offenders on community supervision with the completion of the application for the restoration of civil rights. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Corrections website, www.dc.state.fl.us.

How do I request a continuance of my misdemeanor 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. This form is on our website; click Forms & Assistance in the 1st box; go to General, and select General Motion.
  • Arraignments can be continued ONLY 1 time without Judge approval AND must be done in person 7 days prior to court date.

How do I withdraw my plea?

  • You may want to seek the advice of counsel.
  • You may file a pro se motion with the sentencing judge. Click here for the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.

How will I know when and where I go to court?

  • You will be notified by mail or at the issuance of your notice to appear by law enforcement.
  • Arraignment and/or case management dates are usually 30-45 days after the formal charges have been filed with the Clerk.
  • All notices will be sent to the address that was given at the time of arrest.
  • If you bonded out of jail, your bondsman will be notified as well.
  • Your case number, charges, type of court event, date/time, and location of hearing will be displayed on all court notices.

If I want copies of paperwork from your files, is there a charge?

  • For a complete listing of our fees and service charges, click here.
  • You may access your records directly via our VOR (viewable upon request) program on our website and then search for your case. After the full case view returns, you may request documents. If they already exist in electronic form, there is no fee.

May I file pleadings after office hours?

Yes, by registering to file electronically.

  • Visit the statewide portal to register here,
  • and go to the Help tab here for helpful videos and training manuals.

What do I do if my address changes?

If you move, it is your responsibility to notify the Clerk's Office, in writing, at the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller, ATTN: Criminal Customer Assistance Division, 301 S. Monroe Street, #100, Tallahassee, FL 32301.

What happens after an arrest?

  • An arrest means that the defendant is usually booked into the county detention facility. Most offenses are bondable according to the approved bond schedule. To see Leon County's bond schedule, go to our website; Search, Administrative Order, Year 2010, Administrative Order #2018-06.
  • Except when previously released in a lawful manner, every arrested person is taken before a judge, by electronic audiovisual device within 24 hours of arrest, for "first appearance". In the case of a child in the custody of juvenile authorities, against whom an information or indictment has been filed, the child is taken for a first appearance hearing within 24 hours of the filing of the information or indictment.
  • At your first appearance before a judge, if you have not completed a financial affidavit, you will be asked if you can afford the services of an attorney. If you cannot, the judge will question you orally regarding your financial situation, then decide whether to appoint a public defender as your attorney, provisional upon a determination of indigence by the clerk, or instruct you to seek private counsel. If you have completed a financial affidavit, and the Clerk has made a determination of indigence, the public defender will be appointed, and this information will be provided to the first appearance judge. If a public defender is appointed you will be assessed a $50 application fee.
  • Our office receives the initial paperwork from the Leon County Sheriff's Department after an arrest and prepares the official court file, including arrest documents as well as any release form. Copies of this information are forwarded to the State Attorney's Office. The State Attorney then reviews the case to decide whether to file formal charges. If a public defender is appointed, copies of the paperwork are also forwarded to the Public Defender's Office.
What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?

  • A judge may issue a capias for your arrest. If you are arrested for failure to appear, you may be held in the Leon County Detention Center without bond.
  • You may forfeit any bond that you have posted, thus losing money or collateral.

What happens to the evidence submitted in my case? How do I get it back?

You must petition the court in writing for an order releasing any evidence that was submitted as court evidence. All evidence submitted as court evidence is placed in the custody of the Clerk's Office, and cannot be released without a court order. The Clerk's Office does not provide forms for this purpose.

What if I want to appeal the final decision of the judge in my case?

  • Any defendant can appeal any decision of the judge or the jury. Appeals from county court can go to the circuit court or First District Court of Appeal; appeals from circuit court can go to the First District Court of Appeal or the Florida Supreme Court. A Notice of Appeal should be filed in your original case.
  • Please visit the Appeals section of our website for the Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a felony charge?

  • A felony is any criminal offense that is punishable under Florida laws, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by death or imprisonment in a state correctional facility.
  • Felony charges include, but are not limited to murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated child abuse, sexual battery, kidnapping, burglary, grand theft, battery on law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, willful or aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, possession and/or sale of drugs, communication fraud, forgery, and passing worthless bank checks.
  • Felonies are classified into five categories, based on severity of the crime:
    • Capital Felonies, punishable by death or life in prison;
    • Life Felonies, punishable by life in prison;
    • First Degree Felonies, punishable by up to 30 years in prison;
    • Second Degree Felonies, punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and,
    • Third Degree Felonies, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

What is a Misdemeanor 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, resisting arrest without violence, possession of marijuana, prostitution, passing worthless bank checks, petit theft and possession of alcohol by a minor.