CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT
The Criminal and Traffic Division of the Clerk’s Office manages court files of all criminal and non-criminal offenses that occur in Hendry County. These include both misdemeanor and felony charges. The goal of the Criminal and Traffic Division is to maintain complete, accurate and timely documentation of pleadings, court proceedings and exhibits, assuring that documents are prepared for court appearances, ascertain that records of all court proceedings are documented and criminal judgments are prepared and recorded. Some of the duties of the Clerk’s within this department include: attending each session of court; file indictments, informations and verdicts; process all criminal and traffic cases; prepare appellate records; oversee jury management; and collect and disburse fines, court costs, forfeitures, fees and service charges.
Felony Division handles all types of criminal cases, primarily felony, but also misdemeanor and traffic charges. A felony is any criminal offense that is punishable under Florida laws, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary. Felony charges include, but are not limited to, Murder, Manslaughter, Burglary, Grand Theft, Kidnapping, Forgery and Uttering, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Child Abuse and Sexual Battery. Felonies are classified for purposes of sentencing into the following categories: a) Capital Felony; b) Life Felony; c) Felony of the first degree; d) Felony of the second degree; and e) Felony of the third degree.
Misdemeanors are violations of the law that are less serious than felony offenses. They are punishable by a fine, probation and/or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, as opposed to a state prison sentence on a felony charge. Misdemeanor offenses include, but are not limited to, Petit Theft, Worthless Checks, Prostitution-related charges, Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting without Violence, Battery (Domestic Violence) and Assault. Ordinance violation cases are punishable by a fine or civil penalty.
Traffic Division is responsible for processing all traffic citations issued by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department, Clewiston Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol (when issued in Hendry County) and other state law enforcement agencies. There are four primary types of cases filed in Traffic: Criminal traffic violations; Traffic infractions (cases involving a civil penalty/fine and not punishable by a term in the county jail); ordinance violations and boating/hunting/fishing violations.
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