Frequently Asked Questions
When is my next court date?
If you were bonded out of jail or released by a judge, you were notified of your next court date at the time of your release.
How can I change my Court Date?
The Clerk’s Office does not establish an individual’s court date or have the authority to change that court date. If you have a problem or a question concerning your court date, you should contact your attorney, the State Attorney’s Office, or the judge to whom your case is assigned.
What will happen if I fail to appear for an established court date?
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.
How can I press charges against someone?
Please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 638-6111, or the Chipley Police Department at (850) 638-6310 for further information.
When will I get my restitution money?
The Clerk of Courts may only issue restitution payments to a victim upon receipt of payments by the defendant for that specific victim and as ordered by the court. If a defendant does not make payments as ordered by the court, the victim may seek relief through a Civil Judgment. Please click on Judgment and Restitution Order Instruction Sheet, located at the bottom of this page in the Forms section, for additional information.
What if I can’t pay my fine?
If you are on probation, please contact your Probation Officer. Failure to do so with regard to late payment may result in violation of your probation and issuance of a warrant by the court for your arrest. If you are not on probation, you were given a date to pay your court imposed fines and/or costs, failure to pay these fines/costs by that date may result in a capias being issued for your arrest. Extensions to pay are granted in certain types of cases. Please contact the Misdemeanor Department (850) 638.6289 for information, or your attorney to defer or alter fines imposed by the court.
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 – ATTN: Misdemeanor Department
Post Office Box 647
Chipley, FL 32428
Please include the misdemeanor case number, defendant’s name, date of arrest (if available), and charge(s) (if available) with the new address.
May I attend a criminal trial?
All sessions of court are open to the public unless a judge has ordered a court proceeding to be closed. Spectators are expected to dress and conduct themselves properly when attending any court session.
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 are read to the defendant. The defendant is then asked if he/she opts to plead “guilty”, “not guilty” or “nolo contendere” (no contest). In most instances, a case is continued from the arraignment court event to a separate court event type, for a later date. If the case is continued, the defendant is notified at the arraignment of his/her next court event including date, time and courtroom.
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, charged with a misdemeanor offense 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 $40.00 investigation of eligibility fee for a public defender. Please contact the office of the public defender for additional information.
I am a witness in a case. How can I obtain information concerning the case?
As a witness in a case, all questions concerning that respective case should be directed to the attorney who subpoenaed you as a witness.
How can I get my cash bond refunded?
Upon disposition of a misdemeanor case file, the cash bond may be released to the depositor. However, the court may direct all or a portion of the cash bond to be applied to payment of fines/court costs or restitution. The court will so direct the use of these funds for payment 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 received it after 30 working days, please contact the Misdemeanor Department, (850) 638-6289, so that the matter may be addressed promptly. Please have available the misdemeanor case number, defendant’s name, and date of final disposition (if available).
How do I file an appeal?
Please contact your attorney concerning the proper procedures for filing an appeal. If you wish to research the information yourself, you may consult the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure which are found in the Florida Rules of Court.