CLERK'S FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Among the large number of questions the clerk receives, there are a few that are asked more than most. Here you will find many of these "Frequently Asked Questions" and their answers.

If your particular question is not here, or you need elaboration on an answer given here, feel free to contact the Clerk by phone below or by email.



GENERAL INFORMATION  

  • What form of payment do you accept?
  • Cash
    Check/Travelers Check
    Credit Card/Debit Card (Visa and MasterCard only)
    Money Order
  • Who do I make the check or money order payable to?
  • Clerk of Court
  • Do you accept payments via telephone?
  • Yes, we accept payment for court costs and copies only.
    Phone payments may be made by calling 850-577-4130, using Visa, MasterCard and debit card only.
    Please note that we require the cardholder's Driver's License number.
    In addition, the name on the card and the name of the person authorizing payment (the caller) must be the same, unless it's a business account
  • Where can I pay my court fine/fees and costs?
  • Leon County Courthouse, 1st Floor, Central Cashiering Division or Traffic Division, 2810 Sharer Rd, Suite 19
  • How do I figure out what I owe?
  • You may review this document for various costs and fines. If you have additional questions, you may call 850-577-4220.


    MISDEMEANOR  (850) 577-4130

  • 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, resist arrest without violence, possession of marijuana, prostitution, passing worthless bank checks, petit theft and possession of alcohol by a minor.
  • How do I get a copy of my Misdemeanor record?
  • Leon County Clerk of Court
    Misdemeanor Division
    P.O. Box 726
    Tallahassee, Fl 32302

    You may make your request by mail, at the address listed above or by fax (850) 577-8016. Please allow 5 - 10 business days to process.
  • 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 1 time for 1 week without Judge approval AND must be done in person 2 days prior to court date.
  • Who should I notify if my address changes?
  • It is your responsibility to notify the s Office of your current address, in writing, at the Leon County Clerk of Court, Criminal Customer Assistance - Misdemeanor, P.O. Box 726, Tallahassee, FL 32302.
  • 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 Misdemeanor Division at 850-577-4130, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for general information regarding:
    • Court dates
    • Judge/Attorney assigned to a case
    • Responses to motions
    Most files are public record, and can be viewed in our Help Center, located in the main courthouse, pursuant to a Florida Supreme Court ruling. See Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 2.051(e)(1). To find more information regarding this rule, go to www.flcourts.org. Click on Opinions and Rules, Opinions, Supreme Court (updated 3/7/02), the year 2002, and then SC01-897-Report of the Supreme Court Workgroup and Public Records.
  • How can I have my case sealed or expunged?
  • To seal or expunge a Criminal record requires court approval. For Instructions on Sealing or Expunging a Leon County Misdemeanor case, click here. These instructions are intended as a brief guide for those wishing to seal or expunge their Criminal history record. They are not intended to replace the assistance of a qualified attorney nor statutes concerning the sealing or expunction of a Criminal history record. Forms are available online here or in the Help Center of the Clerk's office for a charge.

    If you would like to see if you are eligible to seal or expunge a record, click here.
  • Can I get access to Leon County Criminal records on the Internet?
  • Criminal traffic records are the only records available on the Internet. There are no immediate plans to place Criminal misdemeanor records on the Internet.
  • 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. You may also, prior to arraignment, file an Affidavit of Indigent Status, with the Misdemeanor Clerk Division. A determination of indigent status 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.
  • 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.
  • May I file a document by fax?
  • The Misdemeanor Division will accept faxed documents. All parties using facsimile to file documents must make arrangements with each division for the payment of applicable filing fees before filing documents by facsimile. For more detailed information, see the s policy by clicking here. Click here for a list of the Clerk’s fax numbers.
  • May I file pleadings after office hours?
  • The Leon County Clerk's Office has an after-hours drop box located on Calhoun Street side of the Leon County Courthouse, just north of the Public Entrance.
  • Where are the judges' offices located?
  • For information concerning the Second Judicial Circuit, click http://www.2ndcircuit.Leon.fl.us.
  • How can I obtain statistical data/information on Criminal cases filed in Leon County?
  • If you are seeking information relative to charges or cases in a specific division, then you should contact that division for more information. Requests made through the Misdemeanor Division should be in writing, and contain detailed information/criteria to enable us to more efficiently assist you. Your request will be reviewed to determine if our office can immediately provide you with the requested information, or if your request has to be forwarded to Leon County Management Information System for handling. Please make sure to include your complete name and phone number on your request.
  • How can I get public access to the Leon County Criminal database?
  • You may contact Leon County Management Information Systems Help Desk at 850-606-5502, or visit their website by clicking here.
  • Local agencies that are involved in the Leon County Criminal Justice System
  • 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 refunded to the depositor by mail, generally within ten days of the close of each case. You may contact our Court Services Division, at 850-577-4220, or visit them at the Leon County Courthouse, Room 244, for more information about your bond.
  • 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. For more information, visit www.floridabar.org, 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(l).


    FELONY  (850) 577-4070

  • 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 happens after an arrest on a felony offense?
  • An arrest on a felony offense means that the defendant is usually booked into the county detention facility. Most felony offenses are bondable according to the approved bail schedule. To see Leon County's bail schedule, click here. Select Administrative Order, Year 2000, Administrative Order #2000-01.

    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 $40 application fee.
    The Clerk's office receives the initial paperwork from the Leon County Sheriff's Department after a felony arrest. The Felony Division 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.
  • How do I change my court date after notification?
  • The Felony Division of the Clerk's Office cannot change your court date. Please contact your attorney to help you with this problem.
  • What if I move?
  • If you move, it is your responsibility to notify the Clerk's Office, in writing, at the Clerk of Circuit Court, Felony Division, P. O. Box 726, Tallahassee, FL 32302.
  • 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 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. You may also, prior to arraignment, file an Affidavit of Indigent Status, with the Felony Clerk Division. A determination of indigent status 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 will I know when and where I go to court?
  • When formal charges are filed with the Clerk's office, you will be notified by mail of (1) an arraignment date if you do not have counsel, or (2) a case management date if you do have counsel. 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.
  • What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?
  • Failure to appear may result in serious consequences. A felony judge may issue a capias for your arrest. You may forfeit any bond that you have posted, thus losing money or collateral. If you are arrested for failure to appear, you may be held in the Leon County Jail without bond.
  • How do I find information about my case or other felony cases?
  • You may call the Felony Division at 850-577-4070, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for general information regarding:
    • Court dates
    • Judge/Attorneys assigned to case
    • Whether a response or order has been filed
    Most files are public record, and can be viewed in the Felony Division. Requests to access these records must be in writing, pursuant to a Florida Supreme Court ruling. See Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 2.051(e)(1). To find out more information about this rule, go to www.flcourts.org. Click on Opinions and Rules, Opinions, Supreme Court (updated 3/7/02), the year 2002, and then SC01-897-Report of the Supreme Court Workgroup and Public Records.
  • 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.
  • May I file a document by fax?
  • Yes, we will accept faxed documents, but the identical document in paper form, with an original signature, must be filed immediately. All parties using facsimile to file documents must make arrangements with each division for the payment of applicable filing fees before filing documents by facsimile. For more detailed information, see Clerk's policy by clicking here. Click here for a list of the Clerk’s fax numbers.
  • May I file pleadings after office hours?
  • The Leon County Clerk's Office has an after-hours drop box located on Calhoun Street side of the Leon County Courthouse, just north of the Public Entrance.
  • How do I get my bond money back now that my case has been disposed?
  • At the conclusion of your case, the Clerk shall 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 refunded to the depositor by mail, generally within ten days of the close of each case. You may contact our Court Services Division, at 850-577-4220, or visit them at the Leon County Courthouse, Room 244, for more information about your bond.
  • 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 the Leon County Circuit Court are filed and heard in the First District Court of Appeals, Tallahassee, Florida. Your Notice of Appeal and other appropriate paperwork should be filed with the division where your case is filed.
  • 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. For more information, visit www.floridabar.org, 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(l).
  • How can I have my case sealed or expunged?
  • To seal or expunge a Criminal record requires court approval. For Instructions on Sealing or Expunging a Leon County Felony case, click here. These instructions are intended as a brief guide for those who wish to seal or expunge their Criminal history record. They are not intended to replace the assistance of a qualified attorney nor statutes concerning the sealing or expunction of a Criminal history record. Forms are available online here or in the Help Center of the Clerk's office for a charge.

    If you would like to see if you are eligible to seal or expunge a record, click here.
  • How do I have my civil rights restored?
  • The 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 at www.dc.state.fl.us, and see "Help With Common Questions".

    A certified copy of the applicant's information, indictment, judgment, or sentence will be furnished by the Clerk's Office to the applicant, free of charge pursuant to Section 940.04, Florida Statutes.
  • Where are the judges' offices located?
  • For information concerning the Second Judicial Circuit, click http://www.2ndcircuit.Leon.fl.us/.
  • How do I know when a trial is scheduled for public viewing?
  • To obtain information about felony trials, you may contact the Felony Division at 850-577-4070, or you may contact our Jury Office, at 850-577-4220.
  • What is a grand jury? When does it meet? Are the sessions public?
  • A grand jury consists of no fewer than 15, and no more than 21, persons selected from a pool of petit jurors. A new grand jury is selected on the first Monday in June and the first Monday in December. There must be a quorum of at least 15 grand jurors present at any one time in order to proceed. A deputy Clerk must be present at the end of each session to receive and file any presentments, indictment or "no true bills" filed by the grand jury. Tentative session dates are agreed to, and set by, the sitting grand jurors. Grand jury proceedings are secret and not open to the public. Click here for more information on grand juries.
  • Will I be paid for appearing as a witness in a Criminal case?
  • Witnesses in all cases, civil and Criminal, in all courts, and witnesses summoned before any arbitrator or master, shall receive $5.00 for each day's actual attendance and $0.06 per mile for actual distance traveled to and from the courts. A witness in a Criminal case, required to appear in a County other than the County of his or her residence and residing more than 50 miles from the location of the trial, shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses at the same rate provided for state employees under Section 112.061, Florida Statutes.

    If the State Attorney, Public Defender, or court appointed attorney subpoenaed you as a witness in a felony case, you will need to bring a copy of your subpoena, which has been signed and dated by the subpoenaing party, to the felony division for payment processing. Witness checks are disbursed by mail monthly.
  • How can I obtain statistical data/information on cirminal cases filed in Leon County?
  • If you are seeking information relative to charges or cases in a specific division, then you should contact that division for more information. Requests made through the Felony Division should be in writing, and contain detailed information/criteria to enable us to more efficiently assist you. Your request will be reviewed to determine if our office can immediately provide you with the requested information, or if your request has to be forwarded to Leon County Management Information System for handling. Please make sure to include your complete name and phone number on your request.
  • How can I get public access to the Leon County Criminal database?
  • You may contact Leon County Management Information Systems Help Desk at 850-606-5502, or visit their website by clicking here.
  • Are the Leon County Criminal records located on the Internet?
  • Only Criminal traffic records are available on the Internet. There are no immediate plans to place felony Criminal records on the Internet.
  • Local agencies that are involved in the Leon County Criminal Justice System
  • How do I get a copy of my Felony record?
  • Leon County Clerk of Court
    P.O. Box 726
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

    You may make your request by mail, at the address listed above or fax to (850) 577-8016. Please allow 5 - 10 business days to process.