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Criminal Court

Criminal Court Information

A Criminal Action is the procedure by which a person accused of committing a crime is charged and brought to trial. After evidence is presented from the prosecution and defense, a decision is made as to the person’s guilt, and if found guilty the accused is sentenced according to law.

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.

Crime Classification 

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.

Criminal Court Information & FAQs

Click on the topics and FAQs below for more information.

In most cases, your scheduled court date is a mandatory appearance.

You may contact The Traffic/Criminal Processing Division at 1175 Civic Center Blvd. in Yuba City or by phone (530) 822-3303 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Once a complaint has been filed with the court, the initial appearance date may be advanced by the clerk, but cannot be postponed.

If you were appointed or have hired an attorney you must contact them for assistance in changing your date.

If you do not have an attorney, it is very important to appear on the scheduled court date or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

If you fail to appear on your scheduled court date, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you were appointed an attorney or have hired an attorney you should contact them for further information about your case. If you do not have an attorney, the clerk’s office may provide you with information about your case.

You may contact The Traffic/Criminal Processing Division at 1175 Civic Center Blvd. in Yuba City or by phone (530) 822-3303 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

If you do not hire your own attorney, you can ask the court to appoint one. You may request this from the judge at your first court appearance. The court will then appoint the Public Defender or Conflict Counsel to represent you. When your case ends, the judge may consider your income, expenses, and other factors to decide how much (if any) of the court-appointed attorney’s legal fees you must pay.

Once a bench warrant has been issued, you must surrender yourself to any law enforcement agency. If you have an attorney, you may contact them for assistance.

You can find out whether someone who has been arrested or is in custody by contacting the Sutter County Jail.

If a defendant is in custody, he or she has the right to an arraignment. At this hearing the judge will officially tell the defendant about their constitutional rights and explain the charges against them. The defendant’s bail may be raised, lowered or set by the judge. The defendant will be asked to plead to the charges against them: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The judge will appoint an attorney for the defendant if they cannot afford to hire one.

Custody Arraignments are heard daily at 3:00 p.m.

The court provides public computers and encourages you to conduct your own search.

If court staff is asked to complete a records search and the search takes more than 10 minutes, a fee of $15.00 will be assessed pursuant to Government Code section 70627(c) for each search conducted. The fee for copies is $.50 per page and if certification is requested, an additional $40.00 per document will be assessed.

Requests for records searches, copies, or certification may be made in person or by mail.

If the request is made by mail, complete the Records / Search Request Form and submit a check payable to the ‘Sutter Superior Court.


If the total amount owing is unknown, indicate under the amount line ‘not to exceed $XX' (Replace XX with a dollar amount of your choice). The correct amount will be filled in and a receipt will be forwarded along with the requested copies. All checks must be preprinted from the banking institution with the maker’s name. Copy orders are filled within 7-10 working days.

Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope large enough to accommodate the requested documents.

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