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CRIMINAL: GENERAL INFORMATION

The “Ask a Question?” application is for general procedural questions. Case specific questions will not be answered by this application. If you need procedural assistance with case specific issues, please refer to the appropriate section on the court’s website. For additional assistance, you will need to send written correspondence, visit one of the Self-Help Centers, or a Case Processing Division for your specific case type.

Most Criminal-Traffic inquiries from the public can be resolved by calling our automated phone system (877) 872-2122 and payments can be made at the following link: Criminal-Traffic Payments. Due to budget constraints, you will not be able to reach a live operator through the automated system.


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.


Assistance by Phone, in Person or Online

SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC INFORMATION AND PAYMENT CENTER:

CALL (877) 872-2122. Services are offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Automated services and information: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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.

SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY SELF-HELP CENTERS:

Self-Help Center staff is available from Monday-Thursday 8:00am to 4:00pm and Friday 8:00am to 3:00pm to provide procedural guidance at the court locations listed below.

SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY WEBSITE:

The court provides a variety of online services. You can access forms, make payments, or view your case online.


Criminal Courthouse Locations and Hours

Criminal Division Hours:

Monday thru Friday:
8:00am – 4:00pm

Court Appearance:

Click here to read about court appearances and advancing your court date.

Drop Box Information:

Drop boxes or door slots are located at each of the courthouses below, with 24/7 access. Payments and properly completed documents placed in drop boxes before 4:00pm on an open court day will be considered received on the same date.

Central Justice Center
700 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Criminal Division - 1st Floor
Collections Office - 1st Floor
Self-Help Center - 1st Floor, Room G-100

Harbor Justice Center- Newport Beach Facility
4601 Jamboree Rd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660-2595

Criminal Division - 1st Floor
Collections Office - 1st Floor
Self-help – 1st Floor, Room 150
Making Payments or Corresponding by Mail:
Superior Court
P.O Box 6040
Newport Beach, CA 92658-6040
North Justice Center
1275 N. Berkeley Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832-1258

Criminal Division - Main Entrance of Upper Level
Collections Office - Lower Level (Inside Traffic Division Lobby, Windows 7-10)
Self-Help Center – Upper Level Entrance, Room 360
West Justice Center
8141 13th St.
Westminster, CA 92683-4593

Criminal Division - Outside Windows
Collections Office - 1st Floor
Self-Help Center - Next to Main Lobby



Criminal Division Hours:
Mondays thru Friday:
8:00am - 4:00pm



Children’s Waiting Room

Children may be brought to the court and may stay in the "Children’s Chambers" while their caregivers are conducting business with the court. Children’s Chambers is a safe drop-in center for children that lets children be children instead of spending long sessions listening to adult interactions that could be painful or frightening.

You can read more about which courts offer a Children’s Chambers and the guidelines.


Accommodating a Disability

If you have a disability and need help, fill out a Request for Accommodations By Persons With Disabilities (MC-410) form and file it with the court as soon as possible, but at least five days before our hearing/trial date.


Criminal Forms and Law

Criminal forms are available online and at the court. Criminal and Self-Help Center staff can answer general questions if you need help completing forms. See above for locations and hours.


LOCAL FORMS (Forms developed and approved by the Superior Court of Orange County):

Local Criminal Forms

STATE FORMS (Forms developed and approved by the Judicial Council of California):

State Forms from the California Courts Website

TIP: Use the dropdown box to choose "Criminal"

LAWS:

Criminal Bail

The amount of bail, money or other security deposited with the court to insure that you will appear, is set by a schedule in each county:

Computing bail can be complicated. The judge can adjust the bail depending on the circumstances. Use these schedules for reference only.


Reporting a Crime

In the event of an emergency, dial 911. You will be connected with law enforcement personnel who will assist you with the emergency.

For non-emergencies, the most effective way to report a crime is to contact your local police agency.


Victim Restitution

If you are a victim of a crime, you have a right to be repaid for losses that resulted from the crime. Please click on the following link to learn more about “Restitution Basics for Victims of Crimes by Adults”. You will learn about criminal court procedures to receive restitution from offenders. The information contained in the booklet will help you understand

  • How to exercise your right to restitution
  • What to expect as the criminal case moves forward
  • How to collect the money you are owed

Additional Resources


© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County