The Office of the Public Defender has prepared "What to Do If You Are Arrested..." to inform you of your rights.
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At your arraignment, you will have an opportunity to complete an Affidavit of Indigent Status form, and request the appointment of a public defender. 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, a public defender will be appointed and a $50 application fee will be assessed. This application fee should be paid prior to any appointments with the Public Defender and may be paid on the 1st Floor of the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building in the County Criminal department.
For felony cases call 850-595-4150 or for misdemeanor cases call 850-595-4185 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for general information regarding:
Failure to appear may result in the Judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. You may forfeit the bail posted, thus losing your money or collateral. Upon arrest, you may be held in jail with or without bond.
To obtain information about felony trials call at 850-595-4150, for misdemeanor trials call 850-595-4185, or you may contact our Jury Office at 850-595-4350.
You may pay your court fines, fees, and other costs using one of the four methods. The Clerk's office accepts American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. Some traffic violations require that you show proof of insurance, drivers license, or other required items before the traffic citation can be considered closed. Failure to do so may result in the suspension of the defendant's drivers license.
Yes, we accept payments for court costs, restitution (if ordered by the court), and service charges over the phone using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. The name on the card and the name of the person authorizing payment (the caller) must be the same, unless the card is registered to a business account. A credit card processing fee will be charged for each payment made by phone.
At the conclusion of your case, pursuant to Florida Statute 903.286, 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. For more information about your bond, you may contact our office at 850-595-4150 for felony cases, at 850-595-4185 for misdemeanor cases, or visit us at the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building, County Criminal Division on the 2nd Floor.
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.