For your reference we have listed various frequently asked questions and answers regarding our office, legal procedures and legal resources.
PLEASE NOTE: We hope you find this information useful, however, please keep in mind that the District Attorney’s Office is prevented by law from answering legal questions or offering legal advice.
Can I report a crime to the DA's Office?
In most cases, crimes 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 Oakland, it should be reported to the Oakland Police Department. There are, however, certain exceptions. Specifically, crimes involving consumer fraud or the unlawful discharge of hazardous materials may be reported to the District Attorney's Consumer and Environmental Protection Division. In addition, crimes involving misconduct by public officials may be reported to the District Attorney's Grand Jury Advisor. Note, however, that reports of misconduct on the part of law enforcement officers should be reported to the internal affairs section or professional standards section of the law enforcement agency with which the officer is employed.
I am the victim in a domestic violence case and I want to drop charges. Can I do that?
The decision to drop charges in any criminal prosecution can only be made by a prosecutor with the approval of a judge. The victim's wishes alone shall not dictate whether or not a case will be filed or dismissed. If you would like to discuss your case, telephone the municipal court branch office which filed the charges.
I was the victim of a violent crime. Will the DA's Office pay for my hospital bill? Will the DA's Office help me collect for lost wages and for pain and suffering?
Regarding medical expenses and lost wages, the DA's Office may be able to assist you in filing an application with the State of California, Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. If your claim is approved, the Board may pay your hospital bills and even provide compensation for lost wages, rehabilitation, relocation and counseling expenses. The Board will then seek to collect any money paid from the defendant upon his or her conviction. If you would like to make an application for such assistance, you should contact the District Attorney's Victim-Witness Assistance Program.
With regard to compensation for pain and suffering, this is not something that the Court can order in a criminal case. If you want to pursue and claim against the defendant for pain and suffering, you will need to contact a private attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you can call the Lawyer Referral Service which is operated by the Alameda County Bar Association. The phone number is (510) 893-8683. If you cannot afford a lawyer you may call the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County at (510) 451-9261 or Legal Assistance for Seniors at (510) 832-3040.
I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the name of the defendant and the defendant's next court date?
The DA's Office can provide you with the name of the defendant and the next court date if we have filed charges against the defendant. To obtain this information, call the DA's municipal court branch office located in the judicial district where the crime occurred.
In court the judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution to me. But so far I haven't received anything. Who can help me?
You may call the Probation Department at (510) 268-7050, or contact the District Attorney's Restitution Hotline at (510) 272-6299 to check on the status of your restitution claim. If restitution has already been ordered and you would like to inquire about payments, you may call County Central Collections at (510) 208-9900.
I think I have been cheated by a [contractor, tradesman, shopkeeper, other person who provides labor or services]. Can the DA's Office help me?
The DA's Consumer and Environmental Protection Division may be able to help, or they may refer you to an agency that can help you.
I am a merchant. Can the DA's Office help me collect on a bad check?
The DA's Office is taking part in the Bad Check Restitution Program which may be able to help you. For further assistance visit the Bad Check Restitution web site via http://checkprogram.com/ or email.
I want a divorce. [Or, I want to sue someone. Or, I want to adopt a child.] Can the DA's Office help me?
No. The District Attorney's Office cannot provide legal advice or take legal action in such matters. You should consult with your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can call the Lawyer Referral Service which is operated by the Alameda County Bar Association. The phone number if (510) 893-8683. If you cannot afford a lawyer you may call the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County at (510) 451-9261 or Legal Assistance for Seniors at (510) 832-3040.
I want a restraining order to keep my [husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other person] away from me. Will the DA'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 Lawyer Referral Service which is operated by the Alameda County Bar Association. The phone number if (510) 893-8683. If you cannot afford a lawyer you may call the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County at (510) 451-9261 or Legal Assistance for Seniors at (510) 832-3040. You, yourself, may be able to obtain a restraining order. You can obtain a packet of documents for this purpose from the Alameda County Clerk's Office located at the County Courthouse at the corner of Oak Street and 12th Street near Lake Merritt.
I need child support. Can you help me?
Contact Child Support Services, they may be able to help.
I have been subpoenaed by the DA to appear as a witness in a criminal case. Can I get witness fees?
No, except when a witness lives 150 miles or more from the court.
I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if the DA filed charges against me?
To find out whether charges have been filed against you, telephone the DA's municipal court branch office located in the judicial district where the crime occurred. For example, if you were arrested for a crime that occurred in Hayward, call the Hayward-San Leandro Municipal Court branch office.
I am an attorney in a pending criminal case and I am planning to file a Motion to Suppress (1538.5 motion)/Motion to Set Aside an Information (995 Motion) in Superior Court. What is the proper procedure?
First, you need to get a hearing date from the Master Calendar Department. Then you must file the moving papers which, according to the practice in Alameda County, should be filed with the court and the DA at least two weeks before the hearing date.
Can I talk to Nancy E. O'Malley? I think she's the person who is working on my case.
Ms. O'Malley is the District Attorney of Alameda County and, as such, her name appears on most court documents just above the name of the prosecutor who prepared the document. In addition, Ms. O'Malley's name appears on most DA's Office correspondence just above the signature of the employee who wrote the letter. Therefore, the person who is working on your case is most likely the person who actually signed the court document or DA's Office correspondence.