District Criminal

District Criminal Division

The criminal jurisdiction of the district courts is as follows:

Misdemeanors - The district court shall have exclusive original trial jurisdiction over prosecutions of all offenses defined by law or ordinance as misdemeanors, except:

  • Prosecutions by municipalities having municipal courts;
  • Any such prosecution which also involves a felony offense which is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the circuit court, except as the district court is empowered to hold preliminary hearings with respect to felonies and to receive guilty pleas as provided in subsection (b) of this section; and
  • Any misdemeanor for which an indictment has been returned by a grand jury.


  • The district court may exercise original jurisdiction concurrent with the circuit court to receive pleas of guilty in prosecutions of offenses defined by law as felonies not punishable by sentence of death.
  • The district court shall have jurisdiction to hold preliminary hearings in prosecutions for felonies as provided for in Title 15 of this code.

Ala.Code 1975 § 12-12-32

The District Criminal Division of the Etowah County Clerk’s Office is responsible for processing the records of an individual who has been arrested on a Misdemeanor charge within Etowah County. We also process non–uniform citations and conservation violations. A court date will be set at which time the Defendant will go before a District Judge where he may plead guilty and be sentenced. If he/she pleads not guilty a trial date will be set. The Circuit Clerk’s Office is responsible for the collection of all Bond Fees, Costs and Fines that have been ordered by the Judge upon adjudication. If you are paying on a Misdemeanor case please bring or mail your case number along with your payment. We accept cash, money order, cashier’s check and credit card when paying in person. We cannot accept personal checks. Please mail your payment by cashier’s check or money order made payable to:

Cassandra Johnson, Circuit Clerk
801 Forrest Avenue Suite 202
Gadsden, Alabama 35901

Always include your case number with your payment to assure proper credit to your account.

You may also make a credit card payment by accessing: Alapay.com. You will be asked to provide your case number, S.S. number and date of birth when paying online. The Etowah County Circuit Clerk’s Office cannot take credit card payment by phone, you must come to the office to verify I.D.

Court dates can only be changed in extreme emergencies & only by order of the Judge.

If you are arrested on a felony charge you will go before a District Judge to determine your ability to retain representation by an attorney. A felony charge is bound over to be heard by a Grand Jury where an indictment is then processed through a new case number into Circuit Court and heard by a Circuit Judge.