The Municipal Court runs several types of dockets each court session.
This begins with your appearance before the Court and is a reading of the charges and taking of a plea. The Judge will call your name and at that time you are given the opportunity to enter your plea. Should you plead not guilty, the judge will set the matter for trial.
At time of arraignment, a defendant can also request to speak with the City Prosecutor about the charges against him/her. If a defendant pleads guilty, then the judge will pass sentence or refer the matter to for a pre-sentence investigation. This is dependent upon the charges.
This docket is designed for defendants who are requesting additional time in which to make a plea, or is a continuance set by the prosecutor to give additional time to investigate and/or negotiate the charges.
This docket is set for defendants who have applied for diversion on charges such as a DUI, minor in possession of alcohol, or other type of misdemeanor charge. The City Prosecutor determines acceptance into the diversion program. The Clearwater Municipal Court does not do diversions on traffic charges.
Non-Jury Trial Docket
Each defendant, by right of the U.S. Constitution, is entitled to a trial. This is a trial to the court, not a jury. The City and the defendant present a case according to the rules of evidence. Based upon the evidence and the law, the Judge will then determine if a defendant is guilty or not guilty. This information is also available from the court.
Pay or Appear Docket
This docket is set for defendants who have requested additional time to pay their fines. A date is set for the defendant to have either paid the fines in full or appear before the Court and answer why the fines have not been paid. If a defendant has paid the fine in full on or before the scheduled court date, then appearance is not required.
However, if the payment is not paid prior to Court, then the defendant must appear before the court to request additional time to pay. If the defendant fails to appear, either a letter will be sent assessing additional fees, or a warrant will be issued.
This docket is set by the Judge to monitor certain cases and a defendant’s progress with probation.
Show Cause/Probation Violation Docket
This docket is set for defendants who have not complied with the terms of their probation and must report to the court as to the violation charges.