List of State Attorney’s Offices in Florida
In Florida, the top prosecutor in each judicial circuit is called the State Attorney. Many other states use the term “District Attorney.” The State Attorney’s Office in Florida has wide discretion in deciding whether to charge or prosecute crimes in their jurisdiction.
Florida is divided into twenty (20) judicial circuits, each of which is composed of Circuit and County Courts. For this reason, Florida has 20 State Attorneys representing the 20 judicial circuits. Along with the five District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Florida, the judicial circuits constitute the Florida State Courts System.
Each State Attorney is elected to a four-year term. The election in 2016 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 elections in 2020 for state attorney positions throughout Florida are likely to bring even more change.
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.
In each judicial circuit, the State Attorney acts in a semi-judicial role in leading a staff of attorneys to apply the state criminal laws fairly and consistently. The State Attorney is given the task of seeking 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.
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.
TWENTIETH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Stephen B. Russell, 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
Bruce H. Colton, 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
Michael J. Satz, 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
Glenn Hess, 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 Thirteenth Judicial Circuit serves Hillsborough County will courthouses in Tampa and Plant City.
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
Aramis D. Ayala, 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
Bill Cervone, 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
Bernie McCabe, State Attorney
14250 49th Street North, Room 1000
Clearwater, Florida 33762
The Sixth Judicial Circuit includes both Pinellas and Pasco counties.
FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Brad King, 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
Jeff Siegmeister, 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
William “Bill” Eddins, State Attorney
190 Government Center
Pensacola, Florida 32501
The First Judicial Circuit serves the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Florida
Prosecutors have wide discretion in criminal cases. For example, the decision to prosecution is a matter that rests wholly with the Office of the State Attorney. Henry v. State, 825 So. 2d 431, 433 (Fla. lst DCA 2002), citing State v. Bloom, 497 So. 2d 2 (Fla. 1986) (the decision to charge and prosecute a defendant is completely discretionary and is vested in the hands of the prosecutor).
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)).
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.
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 in which the crime occurred, the statewide prosecutors travel to courtrooms throughout every judicial circuit in Florida. The statewide prosecutor focuses primarily on organized criminal activity usually 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.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.