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Orange County Superior Courts Self-Help Info

Criminal at a Glance

A criminal case happens when the government files a case in court to punish someone (the defendant) for committing a crime. If the defendant is found guilty of a crime, he or she may face jail or prison. There are three types of criminal cases:

INFRACTIONS:

An infraction is a minor violation. Many traffic violations are infractions. The punishment for infractions is usually a fine, and if the defendant pays the fine, there is no jail time. Infractions are processed by the Traffic Division.

MISDEMEANORS:

A misdemeanor is a crime with a maximum punishment of either 6 months or 1 year in a county jail, and/or a $1,000 fine. Examples are:

  • Petty theft
  • Vandalism
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Drunk driving
FELONIES:

A felony is the most serious kind of crime. If found guilty, the defendant can be sent to jail or state prison for a year or more, or even receive the death penalty for very serious crimes. Examples are:

  • Robbery
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Possession of illegal drugs for sale
THE SELF-HELP CRIMINAL WEBSITE PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
  • How Criminal Court Works
  • Obtaining an Attorney
  • Appearing in Court
  • Paying Fines and Bail Refunds
  • Cleaning Up Your Record
  • Appealing a Decision
  • Victims of Crimes

This section provides summary information and educational materials as a public service, but they may not apply to your particular circumstances. This website cannot take the place of advice from a lawyer.

Criminal Copy and Record Search Requests

Find information on how to request records and copies of documents.

In Person or Online

SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY CRIMINAL DIVISION:

Court staff is available from 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday-Friday to assist you and respond to general questions at any of the court locations listed below.

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