List of State Attorney’s Offices in Florida
The top prosecutor in each judicial circuit in Florida is called the State Attorney. The other attorneys working under the State Attorney are “Assistant State Attorneys.” Other states use the term “District Attorney.”
In the federal system, the equivalent terms are “United States Attorney” and “Assistant United States Attorney.”
Each State Attorney in Florida has broad discretion to decide whether to charge or prosecute crimes in their jurisdiction within the state of Florida.
Because of this broad discretion, many were shocked when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “suspended” the duly elected State Attorney Andrew Warren through the use of an “executive order” entered on August 4, 2022.
According to the executive order, the suspension was based on allegations of “neglect of duty” or “incompetence.” For now, pleadings coming out of that office refer to “Office of Susan S. Lopez, State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit.”
What is the role of the State Attorney in Florida? The State Attorney processes all criminal cases presented by law enforcement officers who have arrested or cited individuals for felonies, misdemeanors, traffic crimes (including DUI or reckless driving), acts of juvenile delinquency, and some violations of county or municipal ordinances.
Each State Attorney is elected to a four-year term. The election in 2016 and 2020 for state attorney positions in Florida resulted in several big upsets. In many of these races, more progressive candidates won over well-entrenched incumbents. The next election for state attorney positions throughout Florida will bring even more changes.
In addition to the 20 state attorneys, Florida also has an elected cabinet post position for the attorney general, who serves as the chief legal officer of the state and is head of the Florida Department of Legal Affairs. Ashley Moody, a Republican, is the current attorney general who took office on January 8, 2019.
We update this list periodically, but if you see a mistake, please email us any suggested corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TWENTIETH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Amira D. Fox, State Attorney
2000 Main Street, 6th Floor
Fort Myers, FL 33901
The Twentieth Judicial Circuit serves the five counties of Southwest Florida – Charlotte County, Collier County, Glades County, Hendry County, and Lee County.
NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Tom Bakkedahl, State Attorney
411 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, Florida 34950
The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit serves Martin County, St. Lucie County, Indian River County, and Okeechobee County, FL.
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Phil Archer, State Attorney
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Bldg D
Viera, Florida 32940
The Eighteenth Judicial Circuit serves Brevard County through the office in Viera and Seminole County through the office in Sanford.
SEVENTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Harold F. Pryor, State Attorney
201 S. E. 6th Street, Suite 665
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301
The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit serves the citizens of Broward County, Florida.
SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Dennis W. Ward, State Attorney
530 Whitehead Street, Suite 201
Key West, Florida 33040-6547
The Sixteenth Judicial Circuit has three locations – the Freeman Justice Center located in Key West, the Marathon Branch Courthouse located in Marathon, and the Plantation Key Government Center in Tavernier.
FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Dave Aronberg, State Attorney
401 N. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401-4209
The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court is located in West Palm Beach, FL, and serves all of Palm Beach County.
FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Larry Basford, State Attorney
421 Magnolia Avenue
Panama City, Florida 32401
The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit includes Bay County, Calhoun County, Gulf County, Holmes County, Jackson County, and Washington County, FL.
THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
*Andrew Warren, State Attorney
County Courthouse Annex, 5th Floor
800 East Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33602-4199
*The duly elected State Attorney Andrew Warren was “suspended” through an executive order which has not yet been upheld or invalidated by the Florida Senate. After suspending Andrew Warren, Governor Ron DeSantis named The Honorable Susan S. Lopez (a sitting judge) to that position. For now, pleadings from that office list “Office of Susan S. Lopez, State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit.”
The Thirteenth Judicial Circuit serves the 1.5 million residents in Hillsborough County with courthouses in Tampa and Plant City. In 2016 and 2020, State Attorney Andrew H. Warren was duly elected by the votes in Hillsborough County, FL.
In fact, in 2020, State Attorney Andrew Warren won the election with 53.4% of the vote while his republican challenger, Mike Perotti received 46,623 fewer votes. As a pro-law-enforcement candidate, Mike Perotti was a former Assistant State Attorney in Hillsborough County. In 2008, Mike Perotti served as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff David Gee.
At last count, the office has 132 Assistant State Attorneys and 162 other staff members including receptionists, paralegals, administrators, investigators, and victim advocates.
TWELFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Ed Brodsky, State Attorney
Criminal Justice Building, Suite 400
2071 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34237-7000
The Twelfth Judicial Circuit serves Desoto, Manatee & Sarasota counties.
ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, State Attorney
E. R. Graham Building
1350 N. W. 12 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33136
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit serves Miami-Dade County, FL.
TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Brian Hass, State Attorney
255 Broadway Avenue
Bartow, Florida 33830
With offices in Bartow, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Wauchula, and Sebring, the Tenth Judicial Circuit serves Polk County, Highlands County, and Hardee County, FL.
NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Monique H. Worrell, State Attorney
415 North Orange Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32801
With more than 155 prosecutors, the Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office serves Orange and Osceola counties.
EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Brian S. Kramer, State Attorney
120 West University Avenue
Gainesville, Florida 32601
The Eighth Judicial Circuit serves Baker County, Bradford County, Union County, Levy County, and Gilchrist County.
SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
R.J. Larizza, State Attorney
The Justice Center
251 North Ridgewood Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114-7505
The Seventh Judicial Circuit includes covers Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, and Putnam counties. The State Attorney’s Office is located in DeLand, Daytona Beach, Bunnell, St. Augustine, and Palatka.
SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Bruce L. Bartlett, State Attorney*
14250 49th Street North, Room 1000
Clearwater, Florida 33762
The Sixth Judicial Circuit includes both Pinellas and Pasco counties.
*On January 21, 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Bruce L. Bartlett as State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Prior to being appointed as the State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Bruce Bartlett served as the chief assistant to State Attorney Bernie McCabe for nearly 30 years. Voters will vote on the new State Attorney position in 2022.
FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
William “Bill” Gladson, State Attorney
19 N. W. Pine Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34475
The Fifth Judicial Circuit includes Marion, Citrus, Lake, Sumter, and Hernando counties.
FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Melissa Nelson, State Attorney
330 East Bay Street, 6th Floor
Duval County Courthouse, Room 600
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
The Fourth Judicial Circuit covers Duval County, Clay County, and Nassau County.
THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
John Durrett, State Attorney
100 S.E. Court Street
Live Oak, Florida 32064
The Third Judicial Circuit is comprised of Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor Counties.
SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Jack Campbell, State Attorney
Leon County Courthouse
301 South Monroe Street, Suite 475
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2550
Serving a population of over 300,000 in the six counties of Leon, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, and Wakulla.
FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Ginger Bowden Madden, State Attorney
190 Government Center
Pensacola, Florida 32501
The First Judicial Circuit serves the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton.
How Many State Attorneys Does Florida Have?
Florida is divided into twenty (20) judicial circuits, each composed of Circuit and County Courts. For this reason, Florida has twenty (20) different State Attorneys representing the twenty (20) different judicial circuits, each comprising one to seven counties.
In each judicial circuit, the State Attorney acts in a semi-judicial role by leading a staff of attorneys tasked with applying the state criminal laws fairly and consistently. The prosecutors aim to convict or punish the guilty while protecting the innocent from false allegations.
While acting as the Chief Criminal Prosecutor, the State Attorney also represents the State in various civil matters and litigation. In addition to these duties, the State Attorney provides legal advice to law enforcement agencies within the circuit, working with the agencies to provide in-service training.
Along with the five District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Florida, the judicial circuits constitute the Florida State Courts System.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Florida
Prosecutors have wide discretion in criminal cases. For example, the decision to prosecute is a matter that rests wholly with the Office of the State Attorney. Henry v. State, 825 So. 2d 431, 433 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002).
In State v. Bloom, 497 So. 2d 2 (Fla. 1986), the Florida Supreme Court recognized that the decision to charge and prosecute a defendant is completely discretionary and is vested in the hands of the prosecutor. Similarly, in Valdes v. State, 728 So. 2d 736 (Fla. 1999), the court concluded that “as the prosecuting officer, the state attorney has ‘complete discretion’ in the decision to charge and prosecute . . . .”
Florida law is also well-established that “the judiciary cannot interfere with this ‘discretionary executive function.’ ” Id. (quoting State v. Bloom, 497 So. 2d 2, 3 (Fla. 1986).
What happens when a defendant challenges the authority of a prosecutor to handle a case, rather than the jurisdiction of a prosecutor to bring a case? To challenge the authority of a prosecutor to handle a case, the challenge must be brought in a direct proceeding by quo warranto. Bolden v. State, 832 So. 2d 153 (Fla.2d DCA 2002).
The actions of an acting state attorney “shall be in all respects as valid as a regularly appointed state attorney.” § 27.16, Fla. Stat.
Cost of Prosecution in Florida
The State Attorney’s Office might file a “NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR COSTS OF PROSECUTION” pursuant to Section 938.27, Florida Statutes. In most cases, the notice requests that the court impose the cost of prosecution in the amount of $100.00 for costs of felony prosecutions or $50.00 for the costs of misdemeanor or criminal traffic prosecutions upon sentencing in the case.
Different Between the State Attorney and the United States Attorney
At the state level, Florida has an elected Attorney General and then 20 State Attorneys.
At the federal level, cases are prosecuted by an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). The United States has one (1) Attorney General, and ninety-three (93) U.S. Attorney offices located throughout the United States, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Office of Statewide Prosecution – The Florida Constitution directs the Attorney General’s Office to maintain an Office of Statewide Prosecution to prosecute cases that impact two or more judicial circuits in the State of Florida. Because each case must be prosecuted in the county where the crime occurred, the statewide prosecutors travel to courtrooms throughout every judicial circuit in Florida. The statewide prosecutor focuses primarily on organized criminal activity involving computers, drugs, or economic crimes.
Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association – The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association (FPAA) is a nonprofit corporation. Members include the elected State Attorney for each judicial circuit and over 2,000 Assistant State Attorneys throughout the State of Florida. FPAA was created to serve the needs of prosecutors in Florida. The primary function of FPAA is to provide education to prosecutors through seminars, publications, and technical support. FPAA produces a Domestic Violence Resource Handbook and Trial Notebook, in addition to the written materials and videos that accompany each seminar.
Executive-Order-DeSantis Suspension of State Attorney Andrew Warren Hillsborough County – Read the executive order that Governor Ron DeSantis used to “suspend” State Attorney Andrew Warren. The executive order alleges “neglect of duty” and “incompetence.”
This article was last updated on Friday, March 3, 2023.