Who is the Pinellas County Judge Assigned to My Case?

Each Pinellas County Criminal Court Judge Has Their Own Approach

Every Pinellas County Judge has a unique style and method in how they run their courtroom. Several websites can be found that attempt to rate the reputation of St. Petersburg and Clearwater judges. But, let’s face it, nobody truly gets to know the traits of our local judges like the prosecutors and defense attorneys who appear in their court rooms on a daily basis. “Out of town” lawyers can often be at a disadvantage by not knowing the local customs and practices of a Pinellas county courtroom.

The Value of Knowing Your Pinellas County Judge

How each judge interprets the law can have an important impact in your case. Therefore, knowing who your judge is could help shape the strategy of your case. For example:

  • Does your judge value and reward defendants who pay restitution to the victim up front?
  • Does your judge have a reputation for believing that alcohol or dug counseling carries significant weight, and will he/she substitute those efforts in lieu of a jail sentence?
  • If you elect to have a jury trial and the jury returns a verdict of “guilty,” is he likely to send you to prison?
  • Does your judge have a reputation for being progressive in his policies?
  • Is your judge conservative or liberal in his interpretation of the law?
  • Is your judge open to new or novel legal theories?
  • Does your judge have a reputation for tougher sentences on certain offenses, while being more lienent on others?


The bottom line…
Wouldn’t it be valuable to know these types of things well in advance?

Now, Let’s Get You Started…

What is Your Felony or Misdemeanor Division?

  1. Felony criminal proceedings in Pinellas county are conducted in “Circuit Court” and are assigned to one of ten Circuit Court “divisions.” These include specialty divisions such as those that handle violations of probation and drug court.
  2. Misdemeanor criminal proceedings in Pinellas county are conducted in “County Court” and are assigned to one of five County Court “divisions.” These include specialty divisions such as “advisory court” and Pinellas County’s Domestic Violence Division that oversees domestic battery cases.
  3. Both Felony and Misdemeanor cases are heard at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center located at 14250 49th Street North, Clearwater, Fl 33762.
  4. The chief administrative judges assign Circuit and County Court Judges to each particular courtroom division. These Judges sometimes rotate per “administrative orders” that become effective on January 1st and July 1st of each calendar year. You can check for the most up-to-date administrative judicial assignment order by clicking here.

Keeping the Same Criminal Court Division For Life

The Court system will assign you to a felony or misdemeanor courtroom division at the time of your first arrest. That assignment stays with you for the rest of your life. Thereafter, if you are ever re-arrested for a new criminal offense in the future, your new case will originate in the same felony or misdemeanor courtroom division and before the same judge. The theory is that these judges are in the best possible position to know your background and your potential for rehabilitation. And likewise, these judges are in the best position to fashion the most appropriate sentences if you are ultimately convicted of the new offenses.

How Do I Find Out Who My Pinellas County Judge Is? What Courtroom am I Assigned to?

The first step is for you to login as a “guest” to the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS). You can access this service for free. By checking the CJIS entries, you can determine what “division” your case is in. Once you learn the “division”, you can then use our chart below to identify the judge who will be presiding over your case.

Our website can provide you with additional information on how to obtain additional records associated with your Pinellas county criminal case and the benefits of sealing or expunging your criminal records.

Call for a Background on Your Pinellas County JudgeCall for a Background on Your Pinellas County Judge and Further Help in Your Case

We are criminal defense attorneys who practice exclusively in Pinellas County. This means that we routinely appear in front of the same judges and negotiate daily with the local prosecutors. As a result, we have developed a strong background of experience and familiarity within our local criminal court system. This extensive professional working relationship has afforded us the opportunity to learn the personalities and concerns of both the prosecutors and the judges. Such an insight can contribute immeasurable value in the preparation and strategy of our client’s defense. Often the earlier we can start on a case, the greater benefit we can extend a client. Call us to discuss who your judge is, the facts of your case and what options may be available. There are several possible solutions that may be appropriate to address your pending criminal charge.

Initial consultations are free: (727-578-0303)

How are the Pinellas Judges Currently Assigned? (Effective 01/01/18)

Pinellas County Misdemeanor Division Judges

Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
silhouette%20woman
Judge
Holly Grissinger
R 19 3 Judge Kathy McKyton
Judge
Kathy McKyton
H 18 3
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Robert Dittmer
Judge
Robert Dittmer
L 22 3 Judge John Carballo
Judge John Carballo
Advisory Hearings
P 15 3
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Myriam Irizarry
Judge
Myriam Irizarry
G 20 3 Judge Theodora Komninos
Judge
Theodora Komninos
F 21 3
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Donald Horrox
Judge
Donald Horrox
O 16 3 Judge Dorothy Vaccarro
Judge
Dorothy Vaccarro
E 17 3
Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Paul Levine
Judge
Paul Levine
Advisory Hearings
P 15 3 Clerk of the Circuit Court Seal

 

 

Pinellas County Felony Division Judges

Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Phillip Federico
Phillip Federico
Career Criminal Division
M 7 4 Judge Pat Siracusa
Judge
Pat Siracusa
T 5 4
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Dee Anna Farnell
Judge Dee Anna Farnell
Drug Court Division
N 10 4 Judge Joseph A. Bulone
Judge
Joseph A. Bulone
D 9 4
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Chris Helinger
Judge
Chris Helinger
I 4 4 Judge Nancy Moate Ley
Judge
Nancy Moate Ley
A 3 4
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Michael Andrews
Judge
Michael Andrews
B 6 4 Judge Frank Quesada
Judge
Frank Quesada
K 2 4
Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Burgess-2
Judge
William Burgess
C 8 4

 

 

Pinellas County Traffic Judges

Div Courtroom Floor Div Courtroom Floor
Judge Susan Bedinghaus
Judge
Susan Bedinghaus
North
County
Traffic
104 1 Judge Joshua Riba
Judge
Joshua Riba
South
County
Traffic
B 1