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Hearing Types

Traffic citations are customarily those involving violations of the California Vehicle Code, and Minor Offenses may be of a non-vehicle related offense including city municipal codes. A minor offense can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or an infraction, depending on the type of offense.

Infractions are not punishable by imprisonment. A person charged with an infraction is not entitled to a jury trial, but a court trial by a judicial officer upon pleading not guilty nor entitled to court appointed counsel, unless charged with a misdemeanor.

Infraction Charges:

Arraignment:

The defendant is brought before the court to plead to the charges in the complaint.

Motions:

An oral or written request made by a party to the court for a ruling or order directing some act or action to be performed.

Court Trial:

There is no jury and a judicial officer hears both the defendant and the issuing officer’s testimony and any evidence presented to the court in determining both the issues of law and the facts of a case. The judicial officer will determine guilt or innocence and impose sentence.

Trial by Written Declaration:

A trial by written declaration is a procedure where, instead of appearing in court for a trial on your citation, you mail or bring in a written statement on a trial by written declaration by explaining the facts of your case and why the court should rule in your favor.

Sentencing: Terminal Disposition:

Judgment of the court.

Terminal disposition:

A sentence which can include fine, fees, community service, specific programs suited for the offense and/or various other court orders.

 

Misdemeanor Charges:

Arraignment:

The defendant is brought before the court to plead to the charges in the complaint.

Pre-Trial:

A conference of both the prosecuting attorney and defense to discuss the possibility of disposing of a case prior to a trial.

Motions:

An oral or written request made by a party to the court for a ruling or order directing some act or action to be performed.

Court Trial:

There is no jury and a judicial officer hears both the defendant and the issuing officer’s testimony and any evidence presented to the court in determining both the issues of law and the facts of a case. The judicial officer will determine guilt or innocence and impose sentence.

Jury Trial:

The case is presented to a jury and the factual questions and the final judgment are determined by a jury.

Sentencing:

(Terminal Disposition), (Formal/Informal Probation): Judgment of the court.

Terminal disposition:

A sentence doesn’t include probation and will close once the terms of the sentence are satisfied.

Formal/Informal Probation:

Supervised by Probation Dept/Non Supervised by Probation. Conditional sentence in lieu of imposing the maximum penalty and subject to conditions imposed by the court.

Sentencing:

(Terminal Disposition), (Formal/Informal Probation): Judgment of the court.

Probation Violation Arraignment/Hearing:

Supervised by Probation Dept/Non Supervised by Probation. Conditional sentence in lieu of imposing the maximum penalty and subject to conditions imposed by the court.

Probation Violation Arraignment/Hearing:

Failure to comply with a term or condition of probation.

Probation Modification:

Request to modify a term or condition of probation.

© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County