Criminal Court

In all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed to be innocent. The prosecutor must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The District Attorney initiates a criminal action for the People of the State of California by filing the charging document – a Complaint, Information or Indictment.   

California statutes generally classify a crime as a felony, a misdemeanor or an infraction.  A felony is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment in a state prison or by death. A misdemeanor is a lesser criminal offense and punishable by fine and/or imprisonment in county jail.  An infraction is punishable by a fine.