On March 23, 2016, Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino signed Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR addressing Assignment of Traffic Cases. The administrative order updated the list of agencies that issue traffic citations in Pinellas County and amended the procedure for assigning criminal traffic cases for citations issued by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. handles all types of criminal traffic cases in Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, and nearby areas of St. Petersburg, Florida. This article explains the administrative procedures used for such cases in courtrooms throughout Pinellas County.
Where Criminal Traffic Cases are Assigned in Pinellas County, Florida
Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR directs the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court to assign all cases filed in the Traffic Division in Pinellas County. Criminal traffic cases are assigned based upon the zip code of the agency issuing the citation except as provided in this Administrative Order.
Cases filed in Pinellas County from the following agencies are assigned to the South County Traffic Facility, located at 1800 66th Street North in St. Petersburg:
- Petersburg Police Department;
- Department of Transportation;
- Treasure Island Police Department;
- Gulfport Police Department;
- Indian Shores Police Department;
- Kenneth City Police Department;
- Pinellas Park Police Department;
- Campus Police University of South Florida; and
- Bay Pines V.A. Police Service.
Cases filed in Pinellas County from the following agencies will be assigned to the North County Traffic Facility, located at 29582 U.S. Hwy 19 North in Clearwater:
- Tarpon Springs Police Department;
- Clearwater Police Department;
- Largo Police Department; and
- Belleair Police Department.
Cases that are filed in Pinellas County from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be assigned to either the North County Traffic Facility or the South County Traffic Facility based on the assignment of the deputy, trooper, or officer issuing the citation. Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR states that deputies, troopers, and officers should be assigned to either the North County Traffic Facility or the South County Traffic Facility in a manner that results in an even distribution of cases between the traffic facilities.
Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR also establishes that the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court should provide the Administrative Office of the Courts with a report at least semi-annually that provides the percentage of cases that are assigned to the South County Traffic Facility and the percentage assigned to the North County Traffic Facility.
Additional Provisions of Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR
When a judge has entered an order recusing himself or herself from all cases of a named party or attorney, Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR states that the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall:
- Reassign all cases from that party or attorney to the other traffic facility unless otherwise directed; and
- Assign future cases so that cases from that party or attorney are not assigned to the recused judge.
If a judge enters an order of disqualification in an individual case, the Clerk must reassign that case to the other traffic facility unless otherwise directed.
Non-criminal traffic infraction cases continue to be assigned pursuant to Administrative Order 2009-008 or subsequent Administrative Order. If a county court judge is required in such a case, it is calendared pursuant to the methods of assigning criminal traffic cases established above.
Administrative Order 2016-016 PI-CIR also states that cases must be scheduled so that citations from each law enforcement agency are calendared to minimize the time officers are in court.
St. Petersburg Traffic Offenses Attorney
If you were cited for a traffic offense or arrested for an alleged criminal traffic crime, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI), in Pinellas County, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Melinda Morris is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg who represents residents and visitors charged with a wide variety of alleged traffic offenses.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. defends alleged offenders in Pinellas County as well as surrounding areas in Pasco County, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County, and Manatee County. You can have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (727) 388-4736 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.