The District Attorney Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I report a crime to the District Attorney's Office?
In most cases, a crime must be reported to the police department or other law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the city or county where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in Placerville or South Lake Tahoe, it should be reported to the Placerville Police Department or the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. If the crime was committed in the unincorporated area of El Dorado County, the crime should be reported to the Sheriff's Office. However, there are certain exceptions. Crimes involving consumer fraud, bad checks, insurance fraud and environmental crimes should be reported directly to the District Attorney's Consumer/Environmental Protection Unit.
Q: I am the victim in a domestic violence case and I want to drop charges? Can I do this?
The decision to drop charges in any criminal prosecution can only be made by a Deputy District Attorney with the approval of a judge. A victim's wishes will be considered, but the final determination as to whether or not charges will be filed or dismissed rests with the District Attorney's Office.
Q: How do I file a domestic violence complaint with your office?
Contact your local law enforcement agency. They are responsible for the investigation of domestic violence cases. Our Domestic Violence Unit will review the investigation report and file any appropriate criminal charges.
Q: I was the victim of a violent crime. Will the District Attorney's Office pay for my hospital bill and my lost wages? Will the District Attorney's Office help me collect for pain and suffering?
The District Attorney's Office may be able to help you with unreimbursed medical expenses and lost income. You should contact the District Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Program at (530) 642-4760 in Placerville and at (530) 573-3337 in South Lake Tahoe. To obtain compensation for pain and suffering, you may need to contact a private attorney. If you do not have a private attorney, you can contact the El Dorado County Bar Association at (530) 626-4906 for a referral.
Q: I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the defendant's next court date?
The District Attorney's Office can provide you with the next court date if we have filed charges against the defendant. To obtain this information, call (530) 642-4760 for assistance.
Q: In court, the judge ordered the defendant to pay me restitution. So far, I have not received anything. Can anyone help me?
Call the Probation Department at (530) 621-5625 and ask for the probation officer assigned to your case. The officer can help you get your money if restitution was a condition of the defendant's probation.
Q: I think I have been cheated by a contractor, tradesman or other person who provides labor or services. Can the District Attorney's Office help me?
The District Attorney's Consumer Fraud Unit may be able to help or they may refer you to an agency that can help you. The Consumer Fraud Unit also helps consumers who have been victims of false or misleading advertising and unlawful business practices.
Q: I am a merchant. Can the District Attorney's Office help me collect on a bad check?
The District Attorney's Office has established the Bad Check Enforcement Unit which may be able to help you. For further information, phone (530) 621-6788. You may also obtain further information by linking to Check Restitution.
Q: I want a restraining order to keep my spouse or another person away from me. Will the District Attorney's Office do this for me?
No, but a private attorney may be able to help you. If you do not have a lawyer, you can call the El Dorado County Bar Association at (530) 626-4906 for a referral. You may also contact the El Dorado Women's Center at (530) 626-1131 for assistance.
Q: I have been subpoenaed by the District Attorney to appear as a witness in a criminal case. Can I get witness fees? What if I can't attend on the date stated in the subpoena?
Whether a witness receives any witness fee is within the discretion of the court. A court can order that you receive witness fees (not to exceed $18 per day) plus reasonable and necessary expenses after testifying. If you have a conflict with the date on the subpoena, contact the Deputy District Attorney handling the case before the appearance date and discuss your conflict. You may obtain this information by calling (530) 621-6472.
Q: I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if the District Attorney filed charges against me?
To find out whether charges have been filed against you, call the District Attorney's Office at (530) 621-6472.
Q: Can I talk to Mr. Pierson? I think he's the person handling my case since his name is on all the documents in my case.
Mr. Pierson is the County of El Dorado District Attorney and his name appears on most court documents in your case. Mr. Pierson's name also appears on most District Attorney's Office correspondence in your case just above the signature of the employee who wrote the letter. The person working on your case is most likely the person who actually signed the court document or letter. This is the person you should contact.
Q: I am a defendant and I don't like the attorney who is representing me. Can I talk to you or one of your deputies about my case?
No. All attorneys are governed by a code of ethics which prevents them from speaking directly to anyone who has an attorney. As long as you are represented by an attorney, we may speak only to your attorney. Any questions that you have about your case should be answered by your attorney.
Q: I have a complaint about your office. How do I contact you and will you respond?
Please write to me at the District Attorney's Office, 515 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667. I or someone in authority, will contact you in writing, telephone, or schedule an appointment.
Q: Can you help me file a Small Claims Court case against a merchant or someone I have a dispute with?
No. If you want to file a Small Claims Court case, you can go the the Small Claims Court at 2850 Fairlane Court in Placerville or 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 100, in South Lake Tahoe for the necessary forms.
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?
If you are a defendant in a case, and you have an attorney, he or she will obtain a copy of the police report from our discovery clerk. If you have been charged with an offense and you have been arraigned and are representing yourself, you can obtain a copy of the police report. You will be charged $0.10 a page with a $1.00 minimum and you must pay cash and appear in person at the District Attorney's Office with a picture identification.
Q: What is the Grand Jury? What do I do if I want to contact the Grand Jury?
In El Dorado County, we have a civil Grand Jury. The civil Grand Jury reviews the civil functions and fiscal affairs of city and county government and its agencies or departments. Its findings and recommendations are filed with the Superior Court. The members of the civil Grand Jury are selected by the Judges of the El Dorado County Municipal Court and Superior Court. These jurors serve for one year. The civil Grand Jury can be contacted by writing to the following address or visit their website.
Grand Jury ForemanEl Dorado County Superior Court495 Main StreetPlacerville, CA 95667
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