The Superior Court of California has jurisdiction over infraction, misdemeanor, and felony cases that occur within the county where the superior court is located. The Criminal Division is that part of the Court's Clerk's Office where a complaint is filed by the prosecuting agency, including but not limited to the Alameda County District Attorney.
Criminal courts conduct arraignments, pretrial hearings, preliminary examination hearings, pretrial law and motion hearings, readiness hearings, trials, sentencing, probation-related hearings, and proceedings regarding criminal justice mental health.
The arraignment is typically the first court appearance.
At this hearing, the defendant is informed of the charges, advised of his/her constitutional rights, is appointed an attorney if he/she cannot afford one, and enters a plea (not guilty, guilty, or no contest).
At the arraignment hearing, the custody status is also evaluated: bail may be set, defendants may be remanded into custody or released on their own recognizance.
For additional information about arraignments or the criminal court system in general, please visit the Court's Resource Center