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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.

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