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:
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.
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
- Driving with a suspended license
- Drunk driving
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:
- 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.