Columbia County is in the northern part of Florida, in fact it is so far north in Florida that it borders Georgia. Columbia County has a population of approximately 68,000 residents. Since 2000, Columbia County has grown in population over 60%. Lake City, Florida holds the County’s City seat. Lake City offers a variety of fun activities including, swimming, water skiing and tubing. Residents and visitors can also enjoy rivers and lakes offering scenic views. Additionally, the Olustee Battlefield State Monument is a popular site nearby. Lake City is within 60 miles of Gainesville and Jacksonville.
The county’s location puts it directly in the middle of the state where it has US 27, US 441, US 90, US 41, Interstate 10 and Interstate 75, as well as other state roads that cross it. The roads within Columbia County are patrolled by the following agencies: Lake City Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, and Florida Highway Patrol. These agencies have the authority to issue citations or make formal arrests.
Columbia County Judges
|Columbia County Judges:||Jurisdiction:|
|Judge Tom Coleman||All misdemeanor, traffic, county civil and small claims.|
3rd Circuit Judges in Columbia County
|3rd Circuit Judges:||Last Name:|
|Judge Wesley R. Douglas||A-K|
|Judge Leandra G. Johnson||L-Z|
Common Crimes in Columbia County
Below is a list of the most common crimes people were arrested for in Columbia County, in 2015. These statistics were received from the Uniform Crime Report provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Columbia County Sheriff’s department made the majority of the arrests for both drugs and aggravated assault but the Lake City Police Department made the majority of the arrests for larceny within the county.
In 2014 Columbia County reported there were 157 people arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) but in 2015 this number dramatically dropped to 46 people. 28 of the 46 DUI arrests were made by Lake City Police Department.
As a whole, Columbia County arrested over 1,000 less people from 2014 to 2015 but the population grew during this time.
Adult Drug Treatment Court
Individuals that get arrested for drug related offenses that meet certain criteria may be admitted into the Adult Drug Treatment Court Program of Columbia County. To be considered for admission into the program, a defendant must: be at least 16 years of age, be a resident of the Third Judicial Circuit of Florida, or otherwise accepted in accordance with conditions outlined in a drug court transfer agreement with another circuit, be free from any prior violent felony conviction, have a current substance abuse/dependence diagnosis, or a documented history of substance abuse or a dependence diagnosis and have a current qualifying felony or misdemeanor charge. Participants may be reprimanded or have sanctions imposed upon them for unsatisfactory performance, including incarceration, termination of the program and full prosecution for the underlying crime.
Mental Health Court
The Columbia County Mental Health Court is a special part of the Columbia County Court. It is a Court-supervised program for those arrested in Columbia County who has a mental illness, who need treatment and other services, and who choose to participate in the mental health program instead of having their case precede through the regular court process. The goal of this program is to divert non-violent defendants with mental illness from the Columbia County Jail and active criminal prosecution in the Columbia County Court to appropriate community based treatment.