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The Superior Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. Misdemeanors are offenses generally punishable by a fine and/or acounty jail term, and felonies are generally punishable by imprisonment in the state prison and/or fines. The court conducts arraignments where accused individuals are informed of the specific charges against them and are advised of their rights. The court holds preliminary hearings on felony charges to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require a defendant to stand trial.


Contact Information:






  • Identification which could include a valid driver's license, social security card, picture identification, etc.
  • Copy of citation, if applicable
  • Appearance letter, if applicable
  • Any receipts regarding the case, such as bond receipts, cash bail receipts, etc.
  • Jail release papers, if applicable
  • Any documents which prove that you have complied with the judicial orders and/or sentencing
  • Cash, personal check, or postal money order to pay for fines and fees
  • Do not use any nickname or alias. Instead, use the same spelling of your name as it appears on documents related to the case. Make sure that the spelling of your name on those documents is correct. If the spelling of your name is incorrect, advise the court.

WARNING: If you fail to appear in court as promised, a bench warrant may be issued which may result in your being arrested and/or punished by JAIL AND/OR A FINE.


Misdemeanors are primarily offenses with a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and a county jail term of one year or less. However, there are some offenses which can carry a higher maximum fine.

an arrest is made:

Police take the defendant to jail, or defendant is released on a signed citation. If the defendant is arrested and given a date to appear in court, three things could happen:

  1. The defendant is released and no charges are filed; or
  2. The defendant posts bail or is released on his own recognizance and is scheduled for arraignment; or
  3. The defendant remains in custody of the Sheriff /law enforcement agency and is brought to court for arraignment.

arraignment and plea: defendant is brought to court:

  1. Defendant is informed of charges.
  2. Defendant is informed of his/her constitutional rights.
  3. An attorney is retained by the defendant. If the defendant wishes to have an attorney but cannot afford one of his/her choice, the court may appoint one.
  4. The defendant may either be released on his/her own recognizance or remain in custody if they are unable to post bail. If the defendant is released on their own recognizance, they are bound by promise to appear in court.
  5. Defendant enters a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest:

    • Not Guilty: The defendant states that he/she did not commit the crime. The case is set for a future hearing.
    • Guilty: The defendant admits that he/she committed the crime.
    • No Contest: The defendant will not contest the charge. This has the same effect as a guilty plea except that the conviction, in certain cases, may not be used against the defendant in a civil suit. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, the case may be resolved at the time of arraignment. This will include any fines/fees and/or court-ordered programs imposed by the judge.

pre-trial proceedings after a not guilty plea:

  • Discovery is exchanged between the prosecution and the defense attorneys. This includes police reports, blood test results, photographs, etc.
  • Motions may be filed to set aside the complaint, to dismiss the case, or to suppress evidence, etc.
  • Defendant may change his/her plea to guilty or no contest.
  • A hearing will be held to attempt to settle the case without going to trial.
  • Case doesn't settle and proceeds to trial. (See: What Occurs at Trial, below.)

arrest:

  • Police take defendant to jail/defendant remains in custody/defendant taken to court for arraignment.
  • If no charges are filed, the defendant is released.
  • Upon posting of bail, or if the defendant is released on his/her own recognizance (which means the defendant is bound by a promise to appear in court), an arraignment date is scheduled.

arraignment on complaint:

  • Defendant is either brought to court or, if he/she is not in custody, he/she appears in court.
  • Defendant is either represented by their own attorney,or, if the defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney, an attorney will be appointed.
  • Defendant is advised of his/her constitutional rights.
  • Bail is set; or
  • Defendant is released on his/her own recognizance.

preliminary hearing:

  • Witnesses testify and evidence is presented.
  • If the judicial officer finds insufficient evidence, the defendant is released.
  • If the judicial officer finds sufficient evidence, the defendant is held to answer in the criminal trial department.

arraignment on information:

  • Defendant is either brought to court or, if he/she is not in custody, he/she appears in court.
  • Defendant is either represented by their own attorney,or, if the defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney, an attorney will be appointed.
  • Defendant is advised of his/her constitutional rights.
  • Bail is set or,
  • Defendant is released on his/her own recognizance.
  • Pre-trial and trial dates are set.

pre-trial proceedings after a not guilty plea:

  • Discovery is exchanged between the prosecution and the defense attorneys. This includes police reports, blood test results, photographs, etc.
  • Motions may be filed to set aside the complaint, to dismiss the case, or to suppress evidence, etc.
  • Defendant may change his/her plea to guilty or no contest.
  • A hearing will be held to attempt to resolve the case without going to trial.
  • Case does not resolve and proceeds to trial. (See: What occurs at trial, below.)

misdemeanor jury trial:

  • Jury is selected.
  • Witnesses testify and evidence is presented.
  • Jury decides if the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
  • If not guilty, the defendant is released and cannot be tried again for the same crime.
  • If guilty, the defendant is entenced to jail, probation, or other conditions.
  • Appeal: If the defendant disagrees with the jury's decision, he/she can appeal to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court.

misdemeanor court trial:

  • Witnesses testify and evidence is presented.
  • Judge decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
  • If not guilty, the defendant is released and cannot be tried again for the same crime.
  • If guilty, the defendant is sentenced to jail, probation, or other conditions.
  • Appeal: The defendant can appeal.
  • If the defendant disagrees with the judge's decision, he/she can appeal to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court

felony jury trial:

  • Jury is selected.
  • Witnesses testify and evidence is presented.
  • Jury decides if the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
  • If not guilty, the defendant is released and cannot be tried again for the same crime.
  • If guilty, the Probation Department prepares a pre-sentence report, and the defendant is sentenced to prison, felony probation, and/or other conditions.
  • Appeal: If the defendant disagrees with the decision, he/she can appeal to the District Court of Appeal.

felony court trial

  • Witnesses testify and evidence is presented.
  • Judge decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
  • If not guilty, the defendant is released and cannot be tried again for the same crime.
  • If guilty, the defendant is sentenced to prison, felony probation, and/or other conditions. ? Appeal: If the defendant disagrees with the decision, he/she can appeal to the District Court of Appeal.


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