CASES HEARD IN THE CRIMINAL TRAFFIC DIVISION
Administrative Order, any criminal traffic case may be heard in the Traffic
Division, unless the case is associated with a non-traffic related criminal offense. If the case is a companion to a non-traffic related offense, the case will be heard in the division the non-traffic related offense is assigned to. Defendants seeking to transfer cases
back to the Traffic Division must submit a written motion to the Traffic
Division Judge. By remaining in the Traffic Division, defendants waive their
right to a jury trial.
must confer and make a good faith attempt to resolve discovery matters without
a hearing. If a hearing is necessary, it should be scheduled either in open
court, with opposing counsel present, or with the Judicial Assistant and
prior agreement of opposing counsel.
List: As a courtesy to attorneys who appear in multiple divisions,
attorneys may sign up in court,
prior to the start of the court session. E-mailed or telephonic submissions
asking to be placed on a sign-up list will not be accepted. If an attorney is not present when their case is called, the Court will continue down the sign-up list and call that attorney’s case when the attorney returns to the courtroom.
Presence: The defendant’s presence at a pretrial conference may be waived
pursuant to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.180. The defendant must be
present if required by the Court, regardless of any previous waiver. The
defendant’s presence should not be waived if counsel has not had an opportunity
to discuss the case with them. The defendant’s presence is required in any
case that speedy trial will not be waived, as those cases will be set for a
trial or transferred to another division.
Plea Negotiations: Plea negotiations may be made between the defendant and the State in advance of or at the
pretrial conference. A defendant may make offers to the Court but the Court
will not engage in plea negotiations unless specifically invited to do so by
the defendant. Any plea offers should be placed on the record.
Attorneys may file a written motion and
order to continue a pretrial conference no later than noon on the Friday
of the week prior to any pretrial conference. Motions must fully set forth the grounds necessitating the continuance, contain a waiver of speedy trial, and must be with
the consent of opposing counsel. Absent unforeseen circumstances, motions
submitted after noon on the Friday before the pretrial conference, or those
submitted timely but without orders, will be considered on the record in open
court on the day of the pretrial conference. Oral motions to continue made during the pretrial conference are acceptable and the Court will consider those motions on the record in open
court. Attorneys may appear telephonically at the discretion of the Court and
on a case-by-case basis.
Matters: Due to the amount of cases assigned to the Traffic Division,
off-calendar matters, including off-calendar motions to continue, will be
addressed on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the size of the court
calendar and the availability of the parties.
Coverage Attorneys: If an attorney is unable to attend a pretrial conference, the attorney may enlist the assistance of a coverage attorney. It is the primary attorney’s
responsibility to find coverage for their cases. DO NOT contact the Judge’s
office to find attorneys who are scheduled to appear before the Court. All coverage attorneys should be
prepared to discuss the reason for the primary
attorney’s unavailability, the primary attorney’s need for a continuance, the
primary attorney’s availability for rescheduling, and/or resolve the case.
Issues: The Court will not discuss any aspect of a case, except
scheduling matters, unless counsel for both the State and defendant are
Motions: Attorneys must provide the Court with a courtesy copy of any
motion filed through the E-Portal. Courtesy copies may be provided by fax,
e-mail, or in open court. Absent good cause, all pretrial motions (motions to
dismiss, motions to suppress, motions in limine, pretrial evidentiary
matters, etc.) must be filed at least fifteen days before the trial. Absent
good cause, motions filed on the day trial will not be considered timely. Parties should also provide the court with
case law to consider. The parties may
mark the case law if the same is provided to opposing counsel.
of Hearings: Ore tenus motions
will be considered, when appropriate, with consent of opposing counsel. Hearings for substantive motions will
not be scheduled without a written motion being filed and copies provided to
the Court and the State. Absent good cause, no substantive motions will be
heard on the day of trial.
Motions to continue a motion hearing must be made as soon as practicable
after an attorney becomes aware
of the need for a continuance.
Defendant’s Presence: Absent prior Court approval and good cause, the defendant must be present for all substantive motion
hearings. If the Court makes a ruling at the time of the motion hearing, attorneys should be prepared
to discuss the case and the defendant should be prepared to resolve the case
or set it for trial, if appropriate.
Due to the amount of cases assigned to the Traffic Division, in-custody defendants will have their cases transferred to another division.
Prior to Trial: Any amended charging document, witness list, or evidence
list filed within fifteen (15) days of the date of trial shall require prior
authorization of the Court.
Continue: Absent good cause, motions to continue a trial must be filed in
writing, at least two weeks prior to the trial date. A motion to continue a
trial will be heard as soon as practicable.
to County Court Judge: Motions to transfer civil traffic infractions from
a traffic hearing officer to a County Court Judge must be filed at least
fourteen (14) days prior to any infraction hearing that is scheduled.
Motions for Dispositional Offer: If a defendant wishes to seek a dispositional offer from the Court, they may submit a written motion
at least fifteen (15) days prior to any scheduled infraction hearing. The motion should set forth the disposition the defendant seeks as well as any factors that may be relevant to the Court in making a sentence
determination. The Court will review the motion, the citation, the worksheet,
and the defendant’s Florida driver record to determine if an offer is
appropriate and, if so, what offer to extend. Dispositional offers made by
the Court will expire fourteen (14) days after issuance of the offer and the Court is not bound by any dispositional offer after the