San Francisco Criminal Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
I've been arrested in San Francisco. Where will my court be?
If the police allege that you have committed an offense in San Francisco, your case will be heard in one of the Criminal Courts of the Superior Court of California in downtown San Francisco. Most criminal matters are heard in the Hall of Justice Building, at 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco. However, some cases will be dealt with at either the Civic Center Courthouse, at 400 McAllister Street, or the Community Justice Center, at 575 Polk Street.
To find out which court you are in, there is a Daily Calendar posted at Room 101 at the Hall of Justice Building, or you can contact the clerk’s office at (415) 551-0322. If you have retained Summit Defense Attorneys to represent you, we will find out which court your case is in and will let you know where you need to go at each step of the process. We will also let you know whether you need to attend court at all.
Can a San Francisco criminal attorney attend court for me?
One of the big advantages of hiring an attorney is that we can attend court for you if you are facing a misdemeanor charge, unless your case involves accusations of domestic violence, or the judge orders your attendance after we make our initial appearance. For example, in San Francisco, some judges will require the defendant to be present in court for DUI matters. Keep in mind that if you have been charged with a felony, you must go to court with your lawyer.
Can I look up the San Francisco court calendar online?
The court calendar lists all of the cases to be heard in each particular court in the coming weeks. In San Francisco, the list is not available online, but it is posted at the courthouse each day. If you have an attorney, however, you do not need to worry about this – your lawyer will keep you fully informed about all upcoming court dates.
Where is the jail for San Francisco?
There are several county jails in San Francisco, as well as one located in San Bruno (although still within the jurisdiction of San Francisco county). They are run by the Sheriff’s Department.
All prisoners are initially booked in through County Jail #1, on 7th Street in San Francisco. However, no one is housed there – once the booking process is complete, people are moved to one of the other facilities. There are two other jails within San Francisco – County Jail #2 at 7th Street and County Jail #4 at Bryant Street. County Jail #5 is at Moreland Drive, San Bruno. If someone in custody requires medical attention or mental health treatment, they are housed in a locked ward at San Francisco General Hospital on Potrero Avenue.
How do I visit someone in jail in San Francisco?
The Sheriff’s Department requires all visitors to schedule visits to inmates online, except for those who wish to visit people being held in San Francisco General Hospital.
Visits can be scheduled via the San Francisco Sherriff’s Department website. Visits are available on weekends and holidays, and at the San Bruno jail on Thursday evenings, although attorneys can visit their clients outside of those times. There are strict rules that apply to jail visits, such as time limits and dress requirements. You should make sure that you review the rules carefully beforehand; otherwise you may not be allowed to visit.
How do I help my friend or relative bail out in San Francisco?
Once an accused person’s bail is set – either when they are booked, or when they have appeared before a judge – a bond needs to be paid for them to be released. If Summit Defense Attorneys are representing you, or your friend or relative, we can refer you to a bail bonds company that we work with, and that gives our clients a discount.
Clients that own a home or other property may be eligible for a property bond and, therefore, able to avoid paying bail. If you want to know if a property bond is available in your case, you should consult your attorney.
To post bail, you can attend Room 101 at the Hall of Justice on Bryant Street between the hours of 8am and 4.30pm. Outside of those hours, and on weekends, you can make payments at the property window in County Jail #1 on 7th Street. Keep in mind that, if you are paying a cash bond, you need to present a cashier’s check for the full amount. Other restrictions may apply from time to time, so it is prudent to always check with your attorney or the Sherriff’s Office. Once you have posted bail, you have to take the bail receipt to the appropriate facility – if the inmate is being held at County Jail #1, take the receipt there, and if they are being held in any other facility, that the receipt to County Jail #3, in order for them to be released.
Can I look up my San Francisco criminal record online?
You cannot find your official criminal record online. You can, however, request a copy of your local criminal record from the San Francisco Superior Court. You must fill out a form and submit it, along with the appropriate payment, to the clerk of the court in person, or via mail or fax.
If you need a copy of your full and complete criminal record , such as for expungement proceedings, you need to apply for a copy through the California Department of Justice. You need to attend an accredited livescan facility to have your fingerprints taken, and submit a form and the appropriate fee. More information can be found on the Department of Justice website.
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