Frequently Asked Questions for DFR/Criminal Fines

Department of Financial Recovery Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can I change my fine into community service hours? Or community service hours into a fine?

Please contact your probation officer for the answer to this question.

2) Can Court Costs/ Fines be paid with a personal check or credit card? Which credit cards do you take?

Personal checks are not accepted for the payment of court costs or fines related to a Criminal case. You can pay with cash, money order, cashiers check or a credit card. The credit cards accepted by our office are Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express. When paying by credit card, identification is required.

3) Can Court costs/ Fines be paid over the phone with a credit card?

The Clerks office does not take payments over the phone to pay for any criminal or non-criminal fines. You must mail in your payment or pay in person.

4) How much time is permitted to pay a non-criminal citation? Where do I pay it? Are personal checks accepted? Who should the check be made payable to?

A non-criminal citation must be paid within 30 days of the date on the citation. It is paid at the Clerk’s office. It can be paid with a personal check that is made out to “Manatee County Clerk of Court”.

5) What is the procedure for contesting a non-criminal citation?

You must write a letter to the Judge assigned to your case requesting a hearing. The person whose name is on the citation must write the letter.

6) Is it possible to pay off community service hours?

You may request to pay off your community service hours with your Probation officer, who will instruct you on what needs to be done.

7) Will my probation be violated if I miss one probation payment?

This will be at the discretion of your Probation officer; if you are going to be late you should always contact the Probation office.

8) What occurs if Court costs/ Fines are not paid by the date given by the Judge?

If the Judge gave you a specific date to have your court costs paid by and you cannot pay in full by that day you must write a letter to the Judge requesting an extension.

9) If a cash bond was posted for someone, how is it returned? As long as the defendant appears in court will the money be returned?

A cash bond will stay posted on a case until the defendant is sentenced in court. At that time, the cash bond will be applied to any court costs or fines assessed on the case. If the bond exceeds the amount of court costs and fines on the case for which the bond was posted, then the Clerks office will research the defendants name to see if any other monies are owed in Manatee County. This includes any civil cases, juvenile cases, traffic tickets, and any other criminal fines. All monetary obligations will be satisfied before returning the bond.

10) Where do I pay my fines if I am on State Probation?

Your court costs and fines must be paid at the State Probation office. The only time the Clerks office will accept payments for felony cases is if the case was referred to our Department of Financial Recovery.

11) What does it mean if the Judge reduced my Court costs/ Fines to a Judgment?

It means the money you owe is now a lien against you. The Clerks office will prepare the judgment and have it recorded in our Recording Dept. The amount on the Judgment will accumulate interest daily from the date the Judge signs it to the day it is paid in full. After it is paid in full with interest, the Clerks office will prepare a Satisfaction of Judgment for you to have recorded for $10.00.

12) If a case is in collection status, how is this paid?

Once a case has been sent to an outside collection agency payment must be made to them.

Contact Department of Financial Recovery
Supervisor: Lauren Robinson
Supervisor Title: Assistant Supervisor
Mailing Address
Attn: Department of Financial Recovery
P.O. Box 25400
Bradenton, FL 34206
Physical Address
1115 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205