If you are a party in a current or recently completed criminal case, you may need to look up information about your case. Information available online usually includes case information such as court dates and a list of documents filed in the case. Your court clerk’s office will have all the same information, as well as a broader scope of documents filed in the case. The court clerk’s case records room may provide copying services for a fee.
Gather your case information. To look up a Florida criminal case, you'll need basic information about the case. Using previous court documents or hearing notices, locate the case number, party names and date of filing to assist you in locating the correct records.
Go online to access records. Many Florida courts have online access to case records, where you can search current or recently closed criminal cases. Miami-Dade County provides a free case search website where you can search by case number or defendant name. After review of the case information, you may print available documents. If you need criminal case forms or further information about how your criminal case will proceed, access your court clerk’s website.
If you cannot obtain your case information or other necessary information online, visit your court clerk’s office in person. Contact information is available on the Florida Department of State website. Call the court clerk’s office regarding location, hours of operation and case record request procedures. Be sure to bring criminal case information and any required copying fees with you. Follow all case file research rules, such as not removing anything from case files and not writing on case file documents. If you need copies of any case file documents, take the file to the clerk’s counter and request copies. The clerk will inform you about any required copying fees and how long you will need to wait. After you receive your copies, you must return the case file to the clerk’s counter.
- Ask the clerk about parking and items you cannot bring into the records area. Many court clerk records rooms will not allow large bags or purses, weapons, pens or highlighters. Go to the records room during “off-peak” hours. When you call the court clerk, ask which time of day has the least amount of traffic.
- Do not violate any records room rules. Damaging or removing court case records can lead to fines, criminal charges or jail time.
- preparing the file image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com