A guide to County Criminal
The Misdemeanor Department maintains the court records for misdemeanor offenses. A misdemeanor is a violation of a Florida Statute that is punishable by a fine, court costs, probation, or imprisonment in the county jail for no more than one (1) year.
The Misdemeanor Department maintains the arrest paperwork, sworn complaints, and notices to appear on misdemeanor charges, and prepares all county court dispositions for each defendant. First Appearance court hearings are held 365 days per year.
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.
In addition to criminal misdemeanor cases, the county criminal court maintains civil infraction cases. The ordinance violation cases are punishable by a fine or civil penalty, and they are littering, animal control, Fish & Wildlife infractions, municipal ordinances, and juvenile smoking.
Some frequently asked questions
What happens after an arrest on a misdemeanor charge and I am released from the Levy County Jail?
If you have bonded out of jail or have been released by a judge, you will be notified by mail of the upcoming court dates, or you are to remain in contact with your bondsman for any upcoming court appearances.
Notices will be sent to the address that you gave when you were arrested.
What if I have a change of address?
If you move, it is your responsibility to notify the Clerk’s Office in writing. Mail us at the address listed in the left- hand column of this page, Attn: Misdemeanor Department.
What is an arraignment?
An arraignment is a hearing where the defendant is advised of the formal charges filed by the State Attorney or law enforcement and is allowed to enter a plea to the charges.
If you have a private attorney, a written plea of not guilty may be entered in your behalf, and a waiver of your appearance at the arraignment hearing may be filed. If no such document has been filed with the Clerk’s Office, you must appear in person.
If you enter an oral plea of not guilty to the charges, a trial or disposition date may be by the court at that time. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the charges, you may be sentenced at that time.
If you qualify for the Public Defender, you may ask the court at your arraignment to appoint the Public Defender to represent you in future court hearings.
Can I change my court date after notification?
The Clerk’s office cannot change your court date for you. Please contact your attorney to help you with this problem. If you are representing yourself, you must file a written request for continuance to the judge.
What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?
Failure to appear may result in serious consequences. A County judge may issue a warrant/capias for your arrest. You may forfeit any bond that you have posted, thus loosing money or collateral.
If you are arrested for failure to appear you may be held in the Levy County Jail without bond.
Can anyone attend a criminal proceeding?
All misdemeanor sessions are public unless a Judge closes certain proceedings.
Spectators are expected to dress and behave themselves properly while in attendance at any court session. No tank tops or shorts are allowed in any of the courtrooms. Pagers and cellular telephones are to be turned off while in the courtrooms.
What if I’ve been subpoenaed?
A subpoena is traditionally defined as a command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony regarding a certain matter. Testimony is normally given at a court of law before a judge or hearing officer, or by deposition, in the presence of a court reporter.
If you are served with a subpoena and have any questions, or are unable to attend, you must contact the agency or attorney that subpoenaed you.
If you are subpoenaed by the Clerk’s Office in reference to a civil infraction and are unable to attend, you must notify the Clerk’s Office prior to the date specified.
If you fail to respond to a subpoena, you may be held in contempt of court.