County (Misdemeanor) Court

 

The County Court system for Duval County is divided into 17 divisions, which are identified alphabetically from Division A to Division Q. There is a single county court judge assigned to each of the 17 divisions. During any given week, one-half of the county judges will be holding criminal court and the other half will be in civil or traffic court.

Our office receives cases from the court after the court has appointed us to represent an individual which it has determined to be indigent and in need of our services. In doing so, the court will have the client sign an Affidavit of Insolvency, which the court then signs in order to appoint our office.

Our office receives the vast majority of its formal appointments from “first appearance” court. When an individual is arrested, he is entitled to a first appearance hearing within 24 hours of the arrest. First appearance hearings are conducted twice a day, every day of the week, 365 days a year.

Each of the 17 county court judges handles criminal court on a cycle. This cycle begins with a full week of first appearance hearings in Courtroom J-1 located on the first floor of the building housing the jail. This “J-1” week serves as a case intake week—it is where you will get most of your cases for the cycle. Any case we are appointed to that is not resolved during the J-1 week will usually be passed for a pretrial when the judge has their next criminal court week (this usually occurs about two weeks after the J-1 week).

The Misdemeanor charges most often encountered in County Court are Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, Petit Theft, Domestic Battery or Battery, Assault, Resisting Arrest Without Violence, Disorderly Intoxication and Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.

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