What is a misdemeanor of a criminal traffic charge?

A misdemeanor is any offense that is punishable under Florida laws, or that would be punishable if committed in Florida, by imprisonment in the local county jail. Misdemeanor charges include, but are not limited to:

  • Criminal Mischief
  • Passing Worthless Bank Checks
  • Petit Theft
  • Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting Arrest Without Violence
  • Simple/Domestic Battery

Criminal Traffic

Criminal Traffic charges include, but are not limited to:

  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Knowing Driving While License Privilege Is Under Suspension
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Racing on the Highway
  • Reckless Driving

Clerk Option - Fee in Lieu of Court

A program known as the Clerk Option may be available for individuals charged with:

  • Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Canceled
  • Driving Without a License
  • No Valid Driver’s License
  • Expired Registration

This option enables an individual to forgo a court appearance by entering a plea of nolo contendere and paying the mandatory cost of $228. By choosing this option and providing valid proof of compliance, the Clerk of Court can withhold adjudication. This option is authorized by Florida Statute 318.14(10)(a).

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are not eligible for this option, and it can only be exercised once in 12 months and no more than three times in a lifetime. 

Select the Clerk Option in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Obtain a valid driver’s license or registration at the nearest Tax Collector’s office. Polk County Residents, an appointment is required and can be made online at www.PolkTaxes.com. Outstanding fines must be paid or a payment plan established with the Clerk’s office before reinstatement is possible. 
  2. Visit the nearest Clerk’s office to present the new driver’s license or valid registration and notify the clerk that you would like to exercise the Clerk Option. 
  3. Pay a $228 fine. This fee must be paid in full. Payment plans are not an option.

This process must be completed at least 2 days before the first court hearing.

Show All Answers

1. What is a misdemeanor of a criminal traffic charge?
2. How do I request a continuance of my court date?
3. Who should I notify if my address changes?
4. What happens if I fail to appear for my court date?
5. How do I find information about my case or other misdemeanor cases?
6. What form of payment do you accept?
7. Who do I make the check or money order payable to?
8. Where can I pay my court fine/fees and costs?
9. How do I have a public defender appointed to my case?
10. May I file a document by fax?
11. May I file pleadings after office hours?
12. How do I get my bond money back now that my case has been disposed?
13. How do I withdraw my plea?