REPORTING A CRIME
Q: Can I report a crime to your office?
A: In most cases, crimes must be reported to the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in the City of Santa Cruz, you would report the crime to the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Q: I am a defendant, and I want to get a copy of the police report. How do I get a copy? Is there any cost?
A: If you are a defendant in a case, you or your attorney will be given a copy of the police report on a CD or DVD in court when you are arraigned on the charges. Discovery costs are published in the Santa Cruz County Unified Fee Schedule.
Q: I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if your office filed charges against me?
A: Yes, call us and we will provide you with that information.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: I would like information on a criminal case that has been filed upon in the Superior Court of Santa Cruz. How can I get Court information?
A: You may check the Superior Court's web site or inquire by phone at (831) 420-2200.
VICTIMS OF CRIME
Q: I am the victim of a crime and I want a restraining order to keep a person away from me. Will your office do this for me?
A: Unfortunately, we do not file civil restraining orders. We may be able to obtain a criminal protective order. You should contact our Victim Services Division for more information or assistance on this question. For domestic violence issues you may also contact Women's Crisis Support Defensa de Mujeres. Court forms, including restraining orders, are also available online at I-CAN!
Q: I am the victim in a domestic violence case and I want to drop the charges. Can I do that?
A: The decision to drop charges in a criminal prosecution can only be made by the prosecutor with the approval of a judge. The victim's wishes alone do not determine if a case will be filed or dismissed.
Q: I am the victim in a domestic violence case. Can I file a complaint with your office?
A: Please contact the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. That agency is responsible for investigating domestic violence cases. Our office then reviews domestic violence cases which occurred in this County and takes appropriate action.
Q: The judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution to me but I have not received anything. Who can help me?
A: If the defendant is on felony probation, restitution is usually paid through the Probation Department at (831) 454-2150. If the defendant is on misdemeanor probation, we can notify the defendant of the failure to pay restitution and place the matter before the court for a hearing.
Q: How can I get my property returned in a criminal case?
A: When a criminal case has been resolved our office sends a property release to the police agency that handled the case. You should contact that police agency. If they do not have a release on file contact our office and the attorney who handled the case can review your request and prepare a property release. 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 can have your property photographed and returned to you. We do not authorize the release of firearms or other contraband to defendants after a conviction.
Q: I was the victim of a violent crime. Will your office pay for my medical bills? Will your office help me collect for lost wages and for pain and suffering?
A: Our office may be able to help you recover medical expenses. Other services may also be available to you. Please contact our Victim Services Division for more information.
CHECK RESTITUTION AND RECOVERY
Q: I am a merchant and I need help in collecting a check. Will your office help me?
A: Yes. Please call the merchant hotline (855) 211-0574 for more details.