General FAQs

Please click on a topic below for answers to frequently asked questions.

If your questions are not answered, please contact us at (559) 600-3141 or for assistance.

How do I report a crime?

All crimes must be reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the city or county where the crime occurred. The law enforcement agency will refer the matter to the District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges should be filed.

How can I obtain a copy of a police report?

Police reports must be obtained from the law enforcement agency that generated the report.

Can the District Attorney's Office provide me with legal advice?

No. The District Attorney's Office is prevented by law from providing legal advice.

Can I get information about a criminal case online?

Please visit the Fresno Superior Court case information page to view public information.

Who decides what charges to file, and how do they make that decision?

Deputy district attorneys review cases submitted to the District Attorney’s Office by law enforcement agencies. The facts are reviewed in light of current laws to decide whether criminal charges should be filed in court.

What happens at the arraignment, preliminary hearing and pre-trial court dates?

The arraignment is a hearing in court in which the defendant is formally charged with an offense, given a copy of the complaint, and informed of his/her constitutional rights. The defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty at this hearing.

The preliminary hearing is not a trial. It is a hearing in court at which witnesses testify and the judge decides if there is enough evidence to require the defendant to stand trial. The jury is not present; the judge alone makes the decision.

A pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the parties to discuss the case with the judge, including possible dispositions and dates for future court hearings.

How can I find out where someone is incarcerated?

If an individual is incarcerated in Fresno County, you can check the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s Inmate Search page.

To locate an inmate within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), please call (916) 445-6713, which is accessible 24 hours a day. You must have either the inmate’s CDCR number or the inmate’s full name and date of birth to receive information. You can also find this information on the CDCR website at:


If I want to file a complaint about a law enforcement officer, can the District Attorney's Office help me?

No. You will need to report the matter to the officer's employing agency. That agency is required by law to receive a complaint, investigate the matter and respond back to the complaining party.