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Posted by Michael G. Butash | Aug 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

What happens after an arrest on a felony charge and I am released from the Hillsborough County Jail?

The Clerk's Office receives the initial paperwork from the Hillsborough 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 all 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?

When formal charges are filed with the Clerk's Office you will be notified by mail for 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.

If you move, it is your responsibility to notify the Clerk's Office in writing at the Clerk of Circuit Court, Felony Department, P.O. Box 1110, Room 202, Tampa, FL 33601

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is a hearing where a defendant is advised of the formal charge 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.

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 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 The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

How can I order a case file to view?

Case files may be ordered and viewed in Room 202 of the Felony department a 800 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. Cases may also be ordered using the Felony Internal Order Form. Click here to access the Internal Order Form. Requested files will be available for viewing in the Felony Department. Files will be held in the department for five business days from the date the file was requested.

About the Author

Michael G. Butash

Michael G. Butash Stetson University College of Law Florida State University Former State Prosecutor Mike grew up in the Tampa Bay area and graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1997. He was immediately hired as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit (Pinellas/...

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