A criminal action is the proceeding by which a person charged with a public offense is accused and brought to justice and punishment.  A criminal action is prosecuted in the name of the people of the State of California, as a party, against the person charged with the offense.

What is a Felony

A felony case is a criminal action in which the defendant is charged with violation of a felony. Misdemeanor or infraction violations may be included. The maximum punishment for a felony may be imprisonment in state prison or county jail, a fine, or both. In some cases, the death penalty may be imposed.

What is a Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor case is a criminal action in which the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor and it may include an infraction charge. It does not include any felony violations. The maximum punishment for misdemeanor violations is not more than 6 months, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.

Criminal Court Locations

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Arraignment Hearing

The arraignment is the first court appearance.

A Judicial Officer informs the defendant/attorney of the following:

  • Alleged charges
  • Constitutional rights

A copy of the accusatory pleading is provided to the defendant/attorney. The defendant/attorney will enter a plea of:

  • Not Guilty - the defendant states he/she did not commit the crime. The case will be set for a future hearing.
  • Guilty - the defendant admits that he/she did commit the crime.
  • No Contest - the defendant will not contest the charge.  The plea has the same effect as a guilty plea except the conviction cannot be used against the defendant in a civil suit.
Failure to Appear

If the defendant does not appear in court as required, the court can order any, or all of the following actions:

  • Forfeiture of bail or bond.
  • Issuance of a warrant.
  • Suspension of the defendant's drivers license.
  • An additional violation alleging a failure to appear.  The punishment for this violation can be an additional jail term and/or a fine.
  • Impose an additional $300.00 assessment pursuant to Penal Code Section 1214.1.
Court Appearance

Misdemeanors, felonies, and warrants all require a mandatory court appearance. Extensions will not be granted. You must appear at the Court on the date and time as directed on your release paper or arraignment letter.

WARNING: Failure to appear may result in a warrant for your arrest.

On your court date, check the posted court calendar for your name and the assigned courtroom. If your name is on a calendar, go directly to that courtroom. If not, report to the Criminal Clerk’s Office. Be prepared to provide identification and information on the arrest or alleged offense, including jail release paperwork, notice to appear, bail or bond receipts, or arraignment letter.

If you are currently on probation and need to appear in court you may do so at the court where you appeared for sentencing.

Appearance Information

For courtroom appearances, the following rules are enforced:

  • Shirt and shoes are required in the courtroom
  • Tank tops and T-shirts are NOT allowed in the courtroom
  • Food, drinks, and gum chewing are NOT allowed in the courtroom
  • Weapons are NOT allowed in the courthouse
  • Cell phones must be turned off
Incustody Information

All persons incustody may be held for forty-eight hours not including weekends and court holidays. Incustody hearings are heard in:

  • Misdemeanors at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Non-Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Misdemeanors at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Non-Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Misdemeanors at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Felony Non-Drug Cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Misdemeanor and Felony cases at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Arraignments (misdemeanor and felony) at 8:30 Tuesdays
  • Misdemeanor cases at 8:30 Tuesdays
  • Felony cases at 8:30 Thursdays
Warrant Information

To appear on a warrant you must report to the Criminal Division which ordered the warrant by 7:30 a.m. All warrants require a mandatory appearance.

For Criminal locations see information above in blue shaded box.

Bail Refunds

Refunds on cash bail are processed automatically upon court order. It takes approximately 6 - 8 weeks from the date of the court order to receive your refund.

The Riverside Superior Court will mail the refund check payable to the depositor named on the bail receipt.

Payment of Fines

Fines are due on the date set by the court.  For your convenience, payments may be made by mail, in person, by phone at 951.222.0384, or via the internet through Epay-It. 

If you are paying the fine balance in full, or have already established a payment installment plan, you may make payments through Epay-It using a credit card. If you would like to establish a payment plan, please contact Enhanced Collections at 1.877.955.3463.

The court accepts:

  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover cards.
  • Debit cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo are accepted.
  • Personal checks, money orders, traveler's and cashier's checks.  Checks and money orders should be payable to the 'Riverside Superior Court.'  To ensure your payment is credited to your case(s), include case number(s).  All checks must be preprinted with makers name and address.

  • Payments can be mailed to:

    Payment Processing Center
    505 S. Buena Vista #201
    Corona, Ca. 92882

Court Appointed Counsel

At the arraignment, if the defendant wants to be represented by an attorney, but cannot afford one, a request may be made for a court appointed attorney. If the court determines the defendant meets the qualifications, an attorney will be appointed.

When the court appoints a public defender, or other counsel, a determination may be made of the defendant's ability to pay fees for services. If the court determines the defendant has the ability to pay, an order will be made to pay all or part of the costs. Such an order has the same force and effect as a civil judgment.

Expungement (Cleaning Up Your Criminal Record)

An expungement allows you to reopen your criminal case, set aside the conviction and dismiss the case. As a result, your criminal record will no longer show the conviction. However the expungement will continue to appear on your record. It is important to note that the expungement does not clear from your record the fact that you were arrested or that charges were filed.

For more information visit the Self Help Expungement site.

© 2016 Superior Court of California, County of Riverside