FAQ Page2019-12-25T02:21:24+00:00

Please click on a topic below for answers to frequently asked questions.

If your questions are not answered, contact us at 916.874.6218 or daoffice@sacda.org for assistance.

Complete the Victim Notification Form2019-12-27T15:21:57+00:00

Click here to fill out the Victim Notification Form

Contact Media Relations2019-12-26T16:00:39+00:00

Please contact Media Officer Shelly Orio for:

  • Media inquiries
  • Request to be added to the office email distribution list
  • Additional information about announcements
  • Archive press releases prior to 2018
Report Fraud.2019-12-27T14:14:33+00:00

Visit one of the pages listed below to view more information on Reporting Fraud

Insurance Fraud

Real Estate Fraud

Welfare Fraud

Request a Speaker2019-12-27T15:21:28+00:00

Visit this page to view more information on Requesting a DA Speaker – DA Speaker

Apply for a job with the DA2019-12-27T14:16:00+00:00

Visit this page to view employment opportunities with the DA – Employment 

Get Protective Order2019-12-27T14:16:30+00:00

Visit this page to view more information on Restraining Order Assistance

– Restraining Order Assistance

How do I report a crime?2019-12-20T15:32:17+00:00

All crime reports should be directed to the law enforcement agency in the city or county where the crime occurred. The District Attorney’s Office does not take crime reports. If you’re trying to report an emergency situation, call 911 on your telephone to be connected to the emergency services you require.

However, there are some exceptions. Crimes involving consumer fraud, environmental crimes or those involving misconduct of public officials may be reported to the District Attorney’s specialized divisions. Call us directly at 916-874-6218.

How do I get a copy of a police report?2019-12-20T15:33:36+00:00

Contact the police agency that created the report to obtain a copy.

What is an abduction?2019-12-20T15:37:37+00:00

Child abduction occurs when someone takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals a child in violation of a custody or visitation order.

Can a family member abduct their own child?2019-12-20T15:38:10+00:00

Yes. In fact, the majority of abductions are committed by family members. Not only does child abduction involve a violation of Family Court, Juvenile Court and/or Probate Court orders, but it also involves a felony violation of the law. The punishment for committing such a crime can be up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine, even if the abductor is a family member.

Can your office help me obtain a custody order?2019-12-20T15:38:54+00:00

No. By statute, the District Attorney’s Office cannot represent a party. You must retain private counsel or proceed on your own. The Sacramento County Superior Court website (www.saccourt.ca.gov) contains information to assist you in Family Law matters.

What is “Good Cause” Notification to the District Attorney?2019-12-20T15:40:06+00:00

Pursuant to Penal Code Section 278.7, parental abduction does not apply to a person with a right of custody or a victim of domestic violence who has good faith and reasonable belief that their child will suffer immediate bodily injury or emotional harm if left with the other person takes, keeps, withholds, or conceals the child. But that person must:

  • Make a report of the taking within a reasonable amount of time to the District Attorney’s Office of the county where the child resided before the taking (as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days),
  • Commence a custody proceeding within a reasonable time from the taking (as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days), and
  • Inform the district attorney of any change of address or phone number of the person and the child.

If you do not have a legally allowable reason for taking or keeping the child, you could face charges of child abduction.

  • Click here to file a report of good cause.
  • Click here to update your address and phone number on your good cause notification.
Can I file a “Child Visitation Violation” with the District Attorney’s Office?2019-12-20T15:40:32+00:00

Yes. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit accepts reports of violations of court ordered visitation, but does not investigate the reports. The reports serve only as a method for the reporting party to document the violation for use in family court proceedings, if appropriate.

Click here to file a visitation report.

Whom can I talk to about a consumer-related problem?2019-12-20T15:49:11+00:00

Please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at 916.874.6218. More information about the unit, resources, and consumer tips are available here.

I think I may be the victim of Real Estate Fraud; what services are available to me?2019-12-20T15:49:53+00:00

More information on real estate fraud, services available to victims, resources, and reporting forms are available here. Call 916.874.9045 for more information.

How do I verify if a business is operating legitimately or if it has been the subject of complaints?2019-12-20T15:50:21+00:00

The Better Business Bureau provides information about businesses and consumer complaints.

I think I’ve been cheated by a contractor/ tradesman/ shopkeeper, or other person who provides labor or services. Can the District Attorney’s Office help me?2019-12-20T15:51:35+00:00

Contact our Consumer Unit at 916-874-6174 or daoffice@sacda.org. You can also fill out a Report Consumer Fraud.

Does your office offer any assistance in Small Claims matters?2019-12-20T15:56:27+00:00

Click here for legal remedies that you can take in resolving disputes with individuals or businesses.

What to do if your child is abducted:2019-12-25T02:23:38+00:00

File a police report. They will require that you have certified copies of your most recent court orders regarding custody. Also, request the law enforcement agency place your child in the National Crime Information Computer System (NCIC). If you have a valid custody order, you can contact our Parental Child Abduction Unit using the link on this website, or by calling 916- 875-0096. You will be contacted within two business days. For additional assistance, you may wish to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1.800.843.5678.

I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if your office filed charges against me?2019-12-25T02:28:48+00:00

Yes, please call (916) 874-6218 and we will provide you with that information.

I am a defendant in a case and I can’t seem to get in touch with my lawyer. Can I speak to your office?2019-12-25T02:29:35+00:00

All attorneys are governed by a code of ethics that prevents them from directly speaking to a person who is represented by an attorney. Therefore, any questions you have about your case must be answered by your own lawyer.

Can you help me clear up a felony warrant I have against me?2019-12-25T02:33:27+00:00

The District Attorney’s Office is prohibited by state law and the California State Bar Rules from providing legal assistance or advice to a defendant. The Public Defender provides legal assistance to individuals charged with a crime in state court who are financially unable to retain private counsel. You may retain private counsel to assist you. You may also contact the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office for advice about how to handle your felony warrant by calling (916) 874-6411 or visit their website at http://www.publicdefender.saccounty.net.

How do I go about getting my gun or property returned?2019-12-25T02:31:06+00:00

Please contact your attorney, not the District Attorney, for information.

How can I have my criminal record expunged?2019-12-25T02:32:45+00:00

Depending on the type of crime for which you were convicted and the sentence imposed by the judge, there are various procedures and forms that may be required before a judge will consider your request. The District Attorney’s Office does not initiate or handle expungement requests. The Sacramento County Public Defender’s website offers guidance about the request process here. An instruction sheet with links to the required forms are available on the Sacramento Superior Court’s website.

I am seeking a pardon from the Governor and I am required to notify the District Attorney’s Office of my request for Executive Clemency. To whom and where do I mail my notice?2019-12-25T02:33:49+00:00

Please mail your notice to the following address:

Sacramento County District Attorney
ATTN: Request for Executive Clemency
901 G Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Can I get information about a criminal case online?2019-12-25T02:35:30+00:00

There is no mechanism in place for public access to criminal records online. Contact the Sacramento County Superior Court at www.saccourt.ca.gov for this information.

Who decides what charges to file, and how do they make that decision?2019-12-25T02:35:54+00:00

Deputy district attorneys review cases brought to the District Attorney’s Office by law enforcement agencies. The facts are reviewed in light of current laws to decide whether criminal charges should be filed in court.

What happens at the arraignment, preliminary hearing, and pre-trial court dates?2019-12-25T02:36:21+00:00

The arraignment is a hearing in court in which the defendant is formally charged with an offense, given a copy of the complaint, and informed of his/her constitutional rights. The defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty at this hearing.

The preliminary hearing is not a trial. It is a hearing in court at which witnesses testify and the judge decides if there is enough evidence to require the defendant to stand trial. The jury is not present; the judge alone makes the decision.

A pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the parties to discuss the case with the judge, including possible dispositions and dates for future court hearings.

How can I find out where someone is incarcerated?2019-12-25T02:37:00+00:00

If an individual is incarcerated in Sacramento County, you can check the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office’s website at http://www.sacsheriff.com. Click on Inmate Information to search the Sacramento County jail inmate list.

To locate an inmate within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), please call (916) 445-6713, which is accessible 24 hours a day. You must have either the inmate’s CDCR number or the inmate’s full name and date of birth to receive information. You can also find this information on the CDCR website at: http://inmatelocator.cdcr.ca.gov.

I want to file a complaint about a police officer or sheriff’s deputy. What do I do?2019-12-25T02:37:27+00:00

You should report the matter to the officer’s employing agency. Law enforcement agencies are required by law to receive complaints, investigate the matter, and respond back to the complaining party.

What if I have a question that is not answered in your FAQs?2019-12-25T02:37:52+00:00

Call (916) 874-6218 or visit our office at 901 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Our receptionists will try to assist you; however, we cannot give legal advice on private legal issues.

What treatment do SVPs get while they are committed to Coalinga State Hospital?2019-12-25T02:39:56+00:00

The appropriate treatment is determined by the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH). Treatment includes a multi-phased program called the “Good Lives Model” which is part of the Sex Offender Commitment Program. If an SVP successfully completes the program or if the SVP receives an annual report from DSH stating he or she can be safely treated in a community outpatient program or that he or she is no longer a danger, he or she can petition for release under community-based supervision in the final phase of the Sex Offender Commitment Program. This is pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act. Further information about the program and other treatment is described on the DSH website (www.dsh.ca.gov/coalinga).

What is SVP community treatment (CONREP)?2019-12-25T02:40:22+00:00

Conditional Release (CONREP) is a community-based supervision program designed to integrate SVPs who no longer pose a risk of re-offense back into the community. This determination is made by the court, pursuant to statutory and case law. If the court determines that a SVP can be safely supervised and treated in the community, the SVP is ordered into the final phase of the Sex Offender Treatment Program. CONREP is under the authority of the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) and provides community-based supervision to SVPs in the final phase of the Sex Offender Commitment Program.

Where is the SVP housed in the community?2019-12-25T02:41:48+00:00

Welfare & Institutions Code section 6609.1 specifies the procedure for determining where an SVP will be housed. The SVP may be housed in any county in California, as long as he or she establishes domicile in that county. Once the county of domicile is established, Liberty Healthcare Corporation, in conjunction with the DSH, will conduct a housing search of suitable locations for placement within the county and recommend a specific address to the court. All placement sites must comply with state law, including Jessica’s Law. For example, SVPs may not live within 2,000 feet of a school or park. The SVP should not be placed near victims nor their family members. Once the court approves a placement location, there is a period of time for public comment on the proposed placement. The reviewing court will consider the public comments in making its final placement determination. If the proposed location is approved, the court will order the SVP to be transported to the designated address on or before a specified date and community supervision begins.

Who supervises SVPs in community-based treatment?2019-12-25T02:42:23+00:00

Since 2003, the State of California has contracted with Liberty Healthcare Corporation to serve as the CONREP supervision program for all conditionally released SVPs. Liberty Healthcare establishes a Community Safe Team for each SVP. The Safe Team includes a Liberty Healthcare regional coordinator, treatment providers, polygraph specialists, victim advocates and representatives of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office. Appropriate terms and conditions of release for the SVP are determined. Liberty Healthcare must regularly consult with the Safe Team and update them as to the SVP’s progress and treatment. If there are any concerns, Liberty will immediately alert the Safe Team and the court. The SVP can be brought before the court for a hearing to revoke conditional release and potentially be returned to custody at Coalinga State Hospital.

How is supervision accomplished?2019-12-25T02:42:44+00:00

The assigned Liberty Healthcare regional coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of the SVP in the community. The regional coordinator will personally interact with the SVP on a daily basis. All SVPs are subject to certain standard supervisory conditions, such as weekly individual and group therapy (transportation will be provided by the regional coordinator). In addition, supervision may include unannounced visits, covert surveillance, random searches of the home and prior approval for all activities in which the SVP plans to participate. Polygraph exams occur every 90 days. SVPs are required to wear a 24-hour, nonremovable GPS (Global Positioning System) bracelet. All SVPs under community supervision must sign and agree to the terms and conditions prior to release. The release-granting court must approve those terms and conditions, and may accept input from the District Attorney’s Office and the community.

What happens if an SVP violates his terms and conditions of release?2019-12-25T02:43:10+00:00

Any violation of the terms and conditions can be a basis for revocation, even if the violation of those terms and conditions are not a violation of any law. Liberty Healthcare provides quarterly progress reports to the Court, District Attorney and the SVP’s attorney. The Community Safe Team meets regularly to discuss issues related to the SVP’s progress in the community. If high risk behaviors are observed, Liberty Healthcare or the District Attorney’s Office may request that community placement be revoked and the SVP returned to the hospital. If the SVP is returned to the hospital, he or she can petition the supervising court to be re-released into outpatient treatment at a later date.

Can an SVP be released unconditionally after his conditional release?2019-12-25T02:43:29+00:00

Yes. According to the law, once an SVP has successfully served one year on conditional release, he or she may petition the court for unconditional release. If such a petition is filed with the court, a hearing is held, evidence is presented, witnesses are called and a determination is made as to whether the SVP may be unconditionally released without supervision.

Where can I get more information about Conditional Release Programs, Liberty CONREP and the Department of State Hospitals?2019-12-25T02:44:03+00:00

The Department of State Hospitals, which runs Coalinga State Hospital, has descriptions of its process and programs. Both can be reviewed on the web addresses:
Department of State Hospitals: www.dsh.ca.gov
Coalinga State Hospital: www.dsh.ca.gov/Coalinga

My business was the victim of a non-sufficient funds (NSF) bad check. What can I do?2019-12-25T02:47:57+00:00

Report the crime to the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. The DA’s Office no longer investigates non-sufficient funds checks.

I was the victim of a crime. What services are available to me?2019-12-25T02:49:23+00:00

Our Victim Witness Unit offers a variety services to victims of crime. You may also call (916) 874-5701 to inquire about what services may be available to you as a crime victim.

I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the name of the defendant and the defendant’s next court date?2019-12-25T02:49:59+00:00

If the case has been submitted to our office by law enforcement and charges have been filed, we can provide you with the name of the defendant and the next court date. To obtain this information, please call (916) 874-6218 or email us at daoffice@sacda.org.

I am the victim of a crime and I want to drop charges. Can I do that?2019-12-25T02:50:18+00:00

All criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of California. Only the prosecutor can issue or dismiss charges. Although the decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the prosecutor, the victim’s opinion is important and the prosecutor will take those wishes into account when making his or her decisions regarding the case.

I am the victim of domestic violence and want to make a report. How do I do this?2019-12-25T02:50:35+00:00

Please contact the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. That agency is responsible for investigating domestic violence cases.

I am the victim of a crime and I want a restraining order to keep a person away from me. How do I do this?2019-12-25T02:50:54+00:00

We also work with victims and witnesses in obtaining criminal protective orders after a criminal case has been filed. If a case is presented and filed, the assigned prosecutor can request a criminal protective order in court. You may call our Victim Witness Unit at (916) 874-6218 to determine if either of these orders may be appropriate in your matter.

The judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution to me but I have not received anything. Who can help me?2019-12-25T02:51:10+00:00

If the defendant is on probation, restitution is usually paid through the Department of Revenue Recovery. You may call them at (916) 875-7500 or email them at DRRMail@saccounty.net. If the defendant is on formal probation, you may also contact the assigned probation officer by calling the Probation Agency at (916) 875-0300. You may also email the District Attorney’s Office at restitution@sacda.org for inquiries regarding restitution.

How can I get my property returned in a criminal case?2019-12-25T02:51:29+00:00

When a criminal case has been resolved, our office sends a property release to the law enforcement agency that handled the case. You should contact that law enforcement agency directly. If they do not have a release on file, please contact our office at 916-874-6218 or daoffice@sacda.org and the attorney who handled the case will review your request and prepare a property release, if appropriate. In certain cases we are required to wait at least 60 days to see if an appeal is filed. If you are the victim, in many cases we may be able to have your property photographed and returned to you. We do not authorize the release of firearms or other contraband to defendants after a conviction.

I am the victim of identity theft. What should I do?2019-12-25T02:52:01+00:00

Call the California Department of Justice Identity Theft Registry 1-888-880-0240 or visit http://oag.ca.gov/idtheft, or the Identify Theft Resource Center 1-858-693-7935 or http://www.idtheftcenter.org/. To obtain a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit form for reporting identity theft, go to www.consumer.gov/idtheft, and also see “When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name” on the same page. Report the identity theft crime to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-2 for entry into the Consumer Sentinel database.

If I get a subpoena do I have to go to court?2019-12-25T02:53:30+00:00

When you receive a subpoena from the District Attorney’s Office, please contact the deputy district attorney listed on the subpoena to get further information and instructions.

I received a subpoena. Who do I call to get more information about why I am a witness?2019-12-25T02:53:47+00:00

Witnesses are not limited to eye witnesses. You may not have seen the crime happen but you may know something about it. You may also know something about a piece of evidence, or you may know something that contradicts another witness’s testimony. If you wonder why you are testifying in a particular case, contact the deputy district attorney listed on the subpoena for more information.

I received a subpoena from the D.A.’s Office to appear as a witness in a criminal case. What do I do if I am unable to appear on the date stated in the subpoena?2019-12-25T02:54:06+00:00

A subpoena is a court order that must be obeyed. If you have a date conflict, contact the deputy district attorney listed on the subpoena before the appearance date and discuss your conflict. If you do not appear without receiving permission from the deputy district attorney, a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

As a witness, do I have to talk in front of the defendant when I am in court?2019-12-25T02:54:24+00:00

Yes. The defendant has the right to be present in court to hear what all the witnesses say about him or her. Both the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney will ask you questions.

I have to testify in court and it is making me very anxious. I am concerned about not knowing what to expect. Who can I talk to about my concerns?2019-12-25T02:54:40+00:00

Contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Program of the District Attorney’s Office at (916) 874-6218 or daoffice@sacda.org. A victim advocate will explain the process and answer any questions you may have.

If I miss work to testify, will the district attorney pay for my loss in wages?2019-12-25T02:54:55+00:00

Generally, witnesses, apart from experts retained by the parties, must come to court to testify about matters that they have knowledge of without payment. It is a civic duty imposed upon all citizens in order to insure a just and fair judicial system.

Does the District Attorney’s Office have a specific protocol to investigate and review officer-involved shootings?2019-12-26T16:38:17+00:00

Yes. This protocol is posted on the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office website (www.sacda.org) under the heading “Police Use of Force.”

What is the District Attorney’s role in officer-involved use of force investigations?2019-12-26T16:39:01+00:00

The District Attorney is responsible for prosecution of violations of California laws. Therefore, the District Attorney has the authority and responsibility to make criminal charging decisions in officerinvolved incidents. In Sacramento County, when an officer shoots an individual causing injury or death, or when an officer uses force resulting in the death of a person in custody or under control of law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office conducts an independent review to determine whether the officer should be charged with a criminal offense. Experienced Criminal Investigators employed by the District Attorney parallel the investigation conducted by law enforcement. By agreement, they are afforded contemporaneous access to witness interviews, the shooting/use of force scene, and the evidence documentation and collection. The District Attorney’s role thereafter is to assess whether any applicable crimes have occurred and then analyze whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal prosecution

Does the District Attorney’s Office evaluate and render an opinion on tactical decisions or procedures employed by the officers?2019-12-26T16:39:29+00:00

No. The District Attorney’s Office does not review these types of shootings or use of force incidents to determine whether the officer could have taken some other action, or used some other tactic, in addressing the situation. In addition, we do not review whether the agency could be civilly liable or whether any policy or procedure of the agency is the “best practice” for this type of incident. These are all valid areas for review, discussion, and potential outcome improvements. However, our review is strictly limited to an analysis of the action the officer(s) actually took and whether that action is a prosecutable crime under the law.

What, then, is the standard of proof for the prosecution of law enforcement officers and how is that standard applied in determining whether charges should be filed?2019-12-26T16:40:28+00:00

The standard of proof is exactly the same for law enforcement officers as it is for every other person investigated for potential criminal conduct. That is, the prosecution must prove, and a unanimous jury of twelve members must agree, that the individual charged is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This presumption of innocence and the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard are fundamentally rooted concepts in the American system of law.

Uniform Crime Charging Standards mandate that prosecutors file charges only when, after a thorough consideration of all pertinent data, there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction by an objective factfinder weighing the admissible evidence, including the most plausible and reasonably foreseeable defense that could be raised at trial. Evidence that the prosecutor knows will be inadmissible at trial under the California Evidence Code should not be considered in this determination. The charging mandate described above is equally applicable to the lowest of criminal offenses as it is to the most heinous.

We cannot simply charge a person with a criminal offense when there is insufficient evidence to do so and then let a jury sort out whether he/she should be convicted. Under the law and our code of ethics, we must be sufficiently convinced that a unanimous jury would find that a crime was committed by the person before we can file charges.

How is the public at large informed of the outcome of the District Attorney’s review?2019-12-26T16:41:14+00:00

In Sacramento County, if the District Attorney’s Office concludes that there is sufficient reason to believe that the filing standard described above has been met, the officer will be charged. If the District Attorney’s Office determines that the officer’s conduct was legally justified, or that there is insufficient reason to believe that a jury would convict the officer under the circumstances, the District Attorney’s Office prepares a review letter detailing our factual findings and our legal analysis. The review letter is published, posted on our website, and otherwise made available to the public.

What is the expected timeline for completion of the investigation, charging determination, and dissemination of the findings?2019-12-26T16:41:37+00:00

We strive to complete the review within 90 days of receiving all of the related reports and materials. We must balance our desire to complete these investigation reviews in a timely manner with the overarching need to ensure any conclusions we reach are the result of a thorough and methodical evaluation of the facts and the law.

Is there a specific person or special team in the District Attorney’s Office that evaluates these officer involved use of force incidents?2019-12-26T16:42:03+00:00

When the District Attorney’s Office receives a call-out to one of these incidents, regardless of the time of day, experienced Criminal Investigators are dispatched to the scene. Thereafter, the initial review is conducted by our Justice and Special Operations Division. Each incident is then reviewed by senior Executive Management staff members with collectively over 60 years of prosecution experience, and by the District Attorney herself.