Felony

How can I change my Court Date?

If your court date has already been set on a felony case, the Clerk's Office cannot change it. If there is a problem with your date, you or your attorney should contact the office of the Judge assigned to your case.

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How can I find out about a case?

To obtain information over the telephone on felony cases you may call (954) 831-6565. To review the felony cases in person you may visit the Clerk of Courts Felony Division, Room 160 - 201 S.E. 6th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 between the hours of 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM.

To review felony files for years 2000 - 2011 you must first order the files by telephone. The number to call is: (954) 831-5796. The Clerk's Felony Division will instruct you as to when and where to review the cases.

To obtain information on felony cases 1999 and older you may call the Clerk's Archives Division at (954) 831-7854. The Clerk's Archives Division will instruct you as to when and where to review the cases.

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How can I press charges against someone?

  • The Clerk of Court does not have the authority to file criminal charges.
  • The Broward County State Attorney's Office has the authority to file criminal charges against a person.
  • For information on the requirements and process for doing so, contact the State Attorney at: (954) 831-6955.

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How do I pay restitution?

If you are on probation or community control, check with your Probation or Community Control Officer for payment instructions.

If you are not on Probation or community control, you must have a Judge’s order stating that the Clerk’s office is to collect the money. The order must have the victim’s name and address and the total amount due.

If the case is a felony, cash, money orders or cashier’s checks may be sent or brought to the Felony Division, Room 160, of the main courthouse. Personal checks will not be accepted.

If the case is a misdemeanor, you must mail or bring your payment to any traffic and misdemeanor division in the County. Any payment method will be accepted including personal checks and credit cards.

If you are not on probation or community control, and you were ordered to make payments to the Clerk of Courts, call the Clerk's Finance Division at: (954) 831-5791.

If neither of the above applies to you, check with the agency specified in your Restitution Order.

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How will I know when to come to court?

If you have bonded out of jail or have been released by a Judge, you will be notified by mail of upcoming court dates. All notices will be sent to the address that you provided when you were arrested. If your address changes, it is your responsibility to notify this office, in person or in writing, of your new address to: Clerk of Courts Felony Division, 201 S.E. 6th Street, Room 160, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

Please note: Submitting a change of address is very important, as failure to appear for your court date could result in being re-arrested.

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If I have moved, what do I need to do?

It is the defendant's responsibility to keep this office informed of his or her correct current address. If your mailing address changes, you must submit your new address in person or by mail to: Clerk of Courts Felony Division, 201 S.E. 6th Street, Room 160, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301. Doing so will assure that you receive notice of your court dates. A Change of Address form is available online by returning to the Clerk of the Courts Home Page, clicking on the Clerk Forms button, and paging down to FELONY.

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May I attend a Criminal trial?

All sessions of court are open to the public, unless a particular Judge orders his courtroom closed. Lists of all court proceedings are posted daily in the lobby of the Central Courthouse. Spectators are expected to dress and deport themselves properly while in attendance at any court session.

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What if I can’t pay my fine?

The Clerk's Office cannot pardon, defer, or alter fines imposed by the Court. If you are having a problem and are on probation or community control, contact your Probation or Community Control Officer. If you are not on probation or community control, you must contact the office of the Judge that sentenced you.

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What is a felony?

A felony is a serious crime, such as murder, robbery, sexual assault or grand theft. A felony conviction could result in a state prison sentence, loss of certain civil rights and possible exclusion from certain jobs.

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What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is a hearing where a defendant is advised of the formal charges filed by the State and allowed to enter a plea as to the charges. If you have an attorney, he may enter a written plea in your behalf and waive your appearance at the arraignment. If not, you must appear. Be sure to check with your attorney as to whether you must appear. At the arraignment, a trial date and possibly a status conference date will be set.

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What will happen if I fail to appear?

Failure to appear has serious consequences. A Judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. You may forfeit any bond that you have posted, thus losing money or collateral. If you are arrested you may be held in jail without bond.

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How can criminal records be sealed/expunged?

There are very strict criteria for sealing or expunging court records. If you have been charged, but not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, because adjudication was withheld or the state declined to prosecute, and you have not had any other court record sealed or expunged in the state, you may be eligible. By Florida law, there are specific charges that cannot be sealed or expunged, regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld.

Pronounced differences exist between a sealed record and a record that has been expunged. A sealed record could be opened for inspection by you, your attorney, a criminal justice agency and, in specific situations, a prospective employer. An expunged record would no longer exist, since the file and any references to it, are destroyed.

The Clerk's office has a packet, available at no charge that provides you with detailed instructions on the regulations governing the sealing and expungement of court files.

There are fees, which will be charged, for processing requests for sealing or expungement. The initial fee charged by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is $75.00. There are additional fees charged by the local law enforcement agency, and Clerk of the Courts Office, as well.

After completing the requirements contained in the packet, you will need to prepare paperwork that must be submitted to have the record sealed or expunged. This paperwork is not supplied in the Clerk's packet and must be prepared by you, in accordance with state statute. If you prefer, you may contact an attorney to provide this service.

If the judge approves the motion, your record will be sealed or expunged. The Clerk's office will then provide certified copies of the order to those agencies that have a record of your arrest, so they may seal or expunge their records, as well. However, you are responsible for payment of the cost of the copies and certification, in addition to a $42.00 statutory processing fee.

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What if someone is using my name or license?

The Clerk of Court does not have the authority to change names on original court records. The Broward County State Attorney's Office should be notified if you suspect someone is using your identity. For information, contact the State Attorney at (954) 831-6955.

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