Florida Circuit Criminal Courts have jurisdiction in all criminal felonies and also hear appeals from the County Courts. Felonies are criminal offenses that are punishable by imprisonment in a state penitentiary or death. The 12th Circuit Criminal Division has four Circuit Judges in Sarasota County, four Circuit Judges in Manatee County, and two Circuit Judges in DeSoto County.
Florida County Courts have jurisdiction over criminal traffic cases and misdemeanor criminal cases. A misdemeanor is any criminal offense punishable by imprisonment in a county correctional facility for less than one year. The County Criminal Division has four County Judges in Sarasota County, four County Judges in Manatee County, and one County Judge in DeSoto County.
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We are in constant communication with our county clerks and law enforcement officials as well as other elected officials and health authorities. We will continue to update this site as the situation develops. We are also working with our sheriffs, state attorney and public defender to address those inmates who may be eligible for release or who can resolve their cases without further incarceration. View new procedures for attorney access to clients within the Desoto County Jail.
The criminal division in DeSoto County is further divided into Divisions I, II. The following sections contain requirements, forms, and trial dockets for each division.
Judge Don T. Hall
Judge Danielle Brewer
The criminal division in Manatee County is further divided into Divisions I, III and V. The following sections contain requirements, forms, and trial dockets for each division.
After consultation with the Administrative Judges, Courthouse Security, MSO transport, and Manatee Clerk’s Office, the transport of inmates shall resume to pre-COVID normal beginning July 6, 2021, except for those in quarantine.
If a criminal matter (hearing, mass docket, etc.) has already been noticed as a Zoom hearing, then Zoom appearances are permitted through Friday July 30, 2021. However, attorneys and parties are encouraged to appear in court in person.
Starting August 2, 2021 (and until further notice), Zoom will no longer be available for any criminal matters, absent a court order granting a motion that sets forth exceptional circumstances. Notices for criminal matters that are scheduled on or after August 2, 2021, should not include Zoom information.
Notices for Public Defender clients, starting with those sent out by the clerk this week, will go back to the pre-COVID times for County PTCs (1:30pm).
This information may be revisited at a later time based on future Supreme Court Administrative Orders and/or rule changes.
Judge Matt Whyte
Judge Frederick P Mercurio
Judge Lon Arend
The County Judges in Manatee County have all adopted the following procedures for certain criminal matters beginning June 1, 2020 until further notice.
Judge Renee Inman
Judge Jacqueline B. Steele
Judge Heather Doyle
Judge Melissa Gould
The criminal division in Sarasota County is further divided into Divisions II, IV and VI. The following sections contain requirements, forms, and trial dockets for each division.
Judge Donna Marie Padar
Judge Rochelle T. Curley
Judge Thomas Krug
Judge Erika Quartermaine
Judge Maryann Olson Boehm
Judge Dana Moss
Judge Phyllis Galen
The South County area (Venice) holds County Criminal Court.
Judge David Denkin