Felony

What is a felony?

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, rape, burglary, grand theft, kidnapping, worthless checks, forgery and uttering, aggravated battery, aggravated child abuse, possession and/or sale of drugs, and sexual battery. Felonies are classified for purposes of sentencing into the following categories:

Capital Felony
Life Felony

Felony of the first degree – maximum sentence, 30 years
Felony of the second degree – maximum sentence, 15 years

Felony of the third degree – maximum sentence, 5 years

How do I know when to come to court?

When you have “bonded out” of jail or have been released by a Judge, you will be notified by U.S. mail of an upcoming court date. All notices will be sent to the address you provided when you were arrested.

What is an arraignment?

A court procedure whereby the accused is brought before the court to plead to a charge in a charging document. (“Information”, “Indictment”, “Citation”, etc.). The charge and rights may be read to the defendant. The defendant has the opportunity to plead “guilty”, “not guilty” or “nolo contendere” (no contest). It is at this time the Public Defender or an attorney may be appointed. Depending on the plea, the defendant is notified at the arraignment of his/her next court event.

How do I change my court date after notification?

The initial hearing is held within 24 hours of an arrest. The clerk does not schedule or reschedule this event.
A defendant may wish to contact their attorney, or if they do not have an attorney, the Public Defender’s office.

What will happen if I fail to appear in court?

Failure to appear for an established court date can have serious consequences. The Court may issue a “Capias” for your arrest. In addition, if you have posted a bond for your release, the court can order a forfeit of that bond and you will forfeit the money and/or collateral you posted. The Court could impose additional penalties, as it deems appropriate.
Note: The Clerk’s Office cannot withdraw any warrant or capias. Only the Courts have this authority.

I would like an attorney but can’t afford one. What can I do?

Florida Statute 27.51(1) states, “The public defender shall represent, without additional compensation, any person determined by the court to be indigent as provided in s.27.52”. If you have been arrested and cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for the service of a public defender. Your request for a public defender may be made by you during your first court appearance. There is a $50.00 investigation of eligibility fee for a Public Defender. At the disposition of a case a $100 public defender lien may be assessed. Please contact the Office of the Public Defender for additional information.

I have moved. What information should I provide the Clerk of Courts?

It is the defendant’s responsibility to keep the Clerk of Court informed as to their correct address. For your convenience, you may provide your change of address information by mailing it to:
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Criminal Division
The Kim C. Hammond Justice Center
1769 E. Moody Blvd., Bldg. 1
Bunnell, FL 32110
Please reference your case number on your letter.

How can I find out about a case that has been filed?

You may access the public computers located next to the Criminal Division in the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center, second floor, or by calling the Criminal Division at 386-313-4472. Upon request, the Clerk’s Office will research an individual’s criminal history in Flagler County criminal records for a fee of $2.00 per year per name researched. Copies are $1.00 per page.

How can I get my cash bond refunded?

Upon disposition of a case file, the cash bond may be released to the depositor. However, the court may direct all or a portion of the cash bond be used as payment of fines/court costs or restitution. The Court will so direct the use of these funds for payment per Florida Statute 939.17 during disposition proceedings. If the depositor is due a refund, he/she will receive the refund within 30 working days after final disposition of the case. If you are due a refund, and you do not receive it after 30 working days, please contact the Criminal Division so that the matter may be addressed promptly. Please have available the case number, defendant’s name, and date of final disposition (if available).

How do I expunge or seal my record?

Florida Statute 943.0585 and/or 943.059 will provide the requirements and conditions for having a criminal court case sealed or expunged from your record. Please read these statutes carefully.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility to have your records sealed or expunged, please contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Forms are available at the Clerk’s Office, Courts Division.

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”.

Statutes- View statutes Online Sunshine:

www.flsenate.gov/Welcome/index.cfm
Seal and Expungement Rules:

Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure: 3.692 www.flcourts.org
Florida State Statute 943 www.flsenate.gov/Welcome/index.cfm

Criminal History Records Check:

Learn more about obataining criminal history by clicking on Criminal History Record Check