San Bernardino County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in San Bernardino County. See below for more information about criminal cases in San Bernardino County.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In San Bernardino County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
Sentencing in San Bernardino County
In San Bernardino County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
San Bernardino County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in San Bernardino County, the prosecutor will be a representative of San Bernardino County. The San Bernardino County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
San Bernardino County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In San Bernardino County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in San Bernardino County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In San Bernardino County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Where will San Bernardino County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of San Bernardino County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in San Bernardino County.
I need help for my San Bernardino County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the San Bernardino County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for San Bernardino County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Required Court Appearances in San Bernardino County
Any required court appearances in San Bernardino County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
San Bernardino County Criminal Court Locations
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Barstow District
Address: 235 East Mountain View Street, Barstow CA 92311
Phone: 760-718-3700 (Traffic)
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Big Bear District
Address: 477 Summit Boulevard, Big Bear Lake CA 92315
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Chino District
Address: 13260 Central Avenue, Chino CA 91710
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Fontana District
Address: 17780 Arrow Boulevard, Fontana CA 92335
Phone: 909-350-9322 Fax: 909-320-5049
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Joshua Tree District
Address: 6527 White Feather Road, Joshua Tree CA 92252
Phone: 760-974-3048 (Criminal/Traffic)
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Needles District
Address: 1111 Bailey Avenue, Needles CA 92363
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Rancho Cucamonga District
Address: 8303 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730
Phone: 909-350-9764 (Criminal)
San Bernardino County Superior Court – San Bernardino Child Support Division
Address: 655 West 2nd Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415
San Bernardino County Superior Court – San Bernardino Civil Division
Address: 303 West 3rd Street, San Bernardino CA 92415
Phone: 909-708-8678 Fax: 909-708-8586
San Bernardino County Superior Court – San Bernardino Criminal, Family, Traffic and Probate Division
Address: 351 North Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino CA 92415
Phone: 909-521-3388 (Probate)
San Bernardino County Superior Court – Victorville District
Address: 14455 Civic Drive, Victorville CA 92392
San Bernardino Juvenile Delinquency Court
Address: 900 East Gilbert Street, San Bernardino CA 92415
San Bernardino Juvenile Dependency Court
Address: 860 East Gilbert Street, San Bernardino CA 92415