The Felony Division handles criminal offenses punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. We provide a wide range of information and record keeping. Our objective is to assist the public, attorneys and courts with constitutional and statutory functions that are of our responsibility.
We can be reached at (850) 653-8861 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and are located in Suite 203 at the Franklin County Courthouse, 33 Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320.
What happens after an arrest on a felony charge and I am released from the Franklin County Jail?
The Clerk’s Office receives the initial paperwork from the Franklin County Jail after a felony arrest. The Felony Department prepares the official court file, including the original arrest document as well as any release form. This information is also forwarded to the Office of the State Attorney. The State Attorney then reviews the case and makes the determination to file or not file formal charges.
How will I know when to come to court?
If you have bonded out of jail or have been released by a Judge at first appearance, you received notice at that time. If not, when formal charges are filed with the Clerk’s Office you will be notified by mail of an arraignment date. If you bonded out of jail, your bondsman will be notified as well. All notices will be sent to the address that was given at the time of arrest.
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, 33 Market Street, Apalachicola, FL 32320
What is an arraignment?
An arraignment is a hearing where a defendant is advised of the formal charges filed by the State Attorney and is allowed to enter a plea to the charges. At the arraignment, a pre-trial date and possibly a trial date will be set.
Can I change my court date after notification?
The Felony Department of the Clerk’s Office cannot change your court date. Please contact your attorney to help you with this problem.
How do I find out about my case?
Information is available online through the Public Court Search Portal. Put in the information. Click on view selection. Click on case number in blue to see a list of docket statements pertaining to your case. Limited information is also available by dialing (850) 653-8861 x. 107. To view your file you may visit the Felony Department at 33 Market Street, Suite 203, Apalachicola, Florida.
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 warrant 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 Franklin County Jail without bond.
Can anyone attend a criminal proceeding?
All felony sessions are public unless certain proceedings are specifically closed by a judge.
How can I get my cash bond refunded?
Upon disposition of a felony case file, the cash bond may be released to the depositor ONLY. Pursuant to s. 903.286 the court may direct all or a portion of the cash bond to be used for outstanding fines, court costs or restitution. If the depositor is due a refund, they may obtain a Cash Bond Release Notice from the Felony Department for delivery to Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
How do I seal/expunge my record?
There are very strict criteria for sealing or expunging court records. Some of the requirements are:
- You have been charged but not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense because adjudication was withheld.
- The State Attorney declined to prosecute.
- You have not had any other court record sealed or expunged in the State of Florida.
You may be eligible to have court records pertaining to your case sealed or expunged. By Florida law, there are certain charges that cannot be sealed or expunged regardless of whether or not adjudication was withheld.
There are significant differences between a sealed record and a record that has been expunged.
A sealed record could be opened for inspection by a Judge, you, your attorney, a criminal justice agency and in special situations, a prospective employer. The Clerk must receive a motion and order (signed by the Judge) to unseal the record for this to occur.
An expunged record would no longer exist, since the file and any references to that file are destroyed. However, as per Florida Rule 3.692, the record of arrest must have been sealed for at least 10 years; or an indictment or information was not filed against the defendant for the criminal transaction; or an indictment or information filed against the defendant was dismissed by the prosecutor of the court.
A packet with instructions on how to seal/expunge your case may be obtained from the Clerk by appearing in person to the Franklin County Courthouse, 33 Market St. Suite 203, Apalachicola, Florida 32320, or by visiting FDLE’s Seal and Expunge Process page.