The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all defendants accused of committing crimes that have been designated by the State Legislature as felonies. A felony is a criminal offense punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary. The Circuit Court also has jurisdiction over all cases in which a child is alleged to have committed a delinquent act or violation of law. A law enforcement officer files a delinquent complaint when a juvenile is alleged to have committed a felony, misdemeanor, contempt of court or violation of a local ordinance.
The County Court has jurisdiction over all defendants accused of committing crimes which have been designated as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense, which is punishable by imprisonment in a county correctional facility. The County Court also has jurisdiction over criminal traffic cases. Criminal Traffic Laws which are defined by the Florida Rules of Court as a violation that may subject a defendant upon conviction to incarceration.