- As a witness in court, do I have to talk in front of the defendant?
- Can I report a crime to the DA's Office?
- Can I talk to Don duBain? I think he is the person who is working on my case.
- I am a defendant, and I do not like the attorney who is representing me. Can I talk directly to the DA or one of the Deputies about my case?
- I am the victim in a domestic violence case, and I want to drop the charges. Can I do that?
- I am the victim of Identity Theft (someone is using my credit cards or has assumed my identity). Can the DA help me?
- I did not see the crime happen. Why am I being called as a witness?
- I have a question that is not answered in your "Frequently Asked Questions." How can I get more information?
- I have been served with a subpoena. Do I have to go to court?
- I have been subpoenaed to testify in court. If I miss work, will the DA's Office pay my lost wages?
- I have been subpoenaed to testify in court. What if I cannot attend on the date or time stated in the subpoena?
- I received a check that bounced. Can the DA help?
- I think I have been cheated by a contractor, tradesman, shopkeeper, or other person who provides labor or services. Can the DA's Office help me?
- I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if charges have been filed against me?
- I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the defendant's name and next court date?
- I was the victim of a violent crime. Will the DA's Office pay my hospital bill or help me collect lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering?
- I would like a restraining order to keep my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other person away from me. Can the DA's Office do this for me?
- The judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution to me. So far, I have not received anything. Who can help me?
As a witness in court, do I have to talk in front of the defendant?
The defendant in a criminal case has the constitutional right to "confront and cross-examine" witnesses called to testify against him or her. This means that the defendant must be present in court to hear what the witnesses have to say and that his or her attorney can, and likely will, ask you questions after the Deputy DA has finished asking questions.
Can I report a crime to the DA's Office?
In most cases, crimes must be reported to the police department of other law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the city or county where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in Fairfield, it should be reported to the Fairfield Police Department. If the crime occurred in the unincorporated area of the county, it should be reported to the Solano County Sheriff.
There are, however, certain exceptions. Crimes involving suspected consumer fraud or the unlawful discharge of hazardous materials may be reported to the District Attorney's Consumer Fraud and Environmental Crimes Unit, (707) 784-6859. Also, crimes involving allegations of misconduct on the part of public officials may be reported directly to the District Attorney.
Reports of alleged misconduct by law enforcement officers should be reported to the internal affairs or professional conduct section of the law enforcement agency with which the officer is employed. State law requires that the agency receive your complaint, that it be investigated, and that you receive a written response.
Similarly, if you have a complaint regarding an employee of the District Attorney's Office, please summarize those concerns in writing and send your letter to the District Attorney. When an inquiry has been completed, you will receive a written response.
Can I talk to Don duBain? I think he is the person who is working on my case.
Mr. duBain is the District Attorney of Solano County. As such, his name appears on virtually all court documents just above the name of the Deputy DA who prepared the document. His name also appears on most office correspondence just above the signature of the employee who generated the letter or memo.
If you need to contact the District Attorney's Office, please ask to talk with the Deputy DA who is handling your case. He or she will either take your call or return your call within a short time thereafter.
I am a defendant, and I do not like the attorney who is representing me. Can I talk directly to the DA or one of the Deputies about my case?
All attorneys, both prosecutors and defense counsel, are governed by a code of ethics which prevents them from speaking directly to any person who is represented by an attorney. Therefore, as long as you have an attorney, the prosecutor may only speak to your attorney. Any questions that you may have about your case must be directed to your attorney or to the court.
I am the victim in a domestic violence case, and I want to drop the charges. Can I do that?
Many people incorrectly believe that a victim of crime has the power to "press charges" or to later "drop the charges." Instead, all crimes are offenses against the People of the State of California. The District Attorney prosecutes criminal violations on behalf of the state, not the victim or victims who may have been personally harmed by the defendant's conduct.
ONLY THE PROSECUTOR can issue or dismiss charges. This is important to you as a victim of domestic violence because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting your abuser off your shoulders and puts it on the District Attorney, where it legally belongs. It also means that the defendant cannot "pressure" you into seeking to drop the charges.
I am the victim of Identity Theft (someone is using my credit cards or has assumed my identity). Can the DA help me?
If you are the victim of identy theft, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency and file a report. You should also immediately contact the three national credit reporting agencies and put a "fraud alert" on all of your credit accounts. These agencies are: Trans Union, (800) 680-7289, Equifax, (800) 525-6285, and Experian, (888) 397-3742.
Law enforcement professionals and other experts agree that periodically reviewing your credit report is the best way to determine if you are a victim of identity theft. To help combat the growing menace of identity theft, Green Valley Mortgage has created a new FREE service called Credit Watch. Members of Green Valley Mortgage Credit Watch will receive up to three free credit reports per year. Credit Watch members will also periodically receive information on the latest identity theft scams.
A Solano County-based mortgage brokerage, Green Valley Mortgage offers these confidential services at NO COST. Credit Watch is a community service, offered FREE to Solano County residents. Credit Watch members need not be customers of, nor are members in any way obligated to purchase any other services from, Green Valley Mortgage. For more information, click here or call 707-646-2070.
You can also obtain a FREE credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), approved by Congress in December 2003, led to the creation of the AnnualCreditReport.com website. Now, consumers may visit that website at any time to obtain an annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting services - Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.
It is recommended that consumers review the information from each bureau, but not at the same time. For example, one might obtain a report from one source in April, from a second source in July, and from the third source in October. You can expect each of the three national services to ask a couple of verification questions, just to be certain who is requesting the information. The verification questions could only be correctly answered by a particular consumer.
The annual credit reports do not provide your FICO risk score or any generic risk score models, but they will show the most current information the bureaus have on file. The consumer may dispute anything on their credit reports by writing the three national credit services. They must verify the information contained in their files within 30 days. If the information is correct, the services will notify the consumer that their credit report will not be changed. If the information is found to be inaccurate, the service will notify the consumer of the appropriate deletions. In such case, the disputed data will be suppressed in any future credit report. For more information, please visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
You can also obtain free credit reports by calling AnnualCreditReport.com toll free at 877-322-8228 or by sending a request to AnnualCreditReport, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Additional information about protecting yourself from identity theft is available on the U.S. Government's ID Theft website. You may also call the California Department of Justice Identity Theft Register, (888) 880-0240 or the Identity Theft Resource Center, (858) 693-7935.
To help combat comuter crime and identity theft, District Attorney David Paulson and several other North Bay Area DAs recently created a high-tech task force. This task force works closely with local law enforcement agencies to investigate all types of computer crime, Internet crime, and crimes involving identity theft.
I did not see the crime happen. Why am I being called as a witness?
Witnesses are not limited to "eye witnesses." Although you may not have actually seen the crime occur, you may know something about it. You may also know something about a piece of evidence or something that contradicts another witness' testimony. If you have any questions about why you have been subpoenaed to testify, ask the Deputy DA who is prosecuting the case.
I have a question that is not answered in your "Frequently Asked Questions." How can I get more information?
For further information, you may call the District Attorney's Office, (707) 784-6800 or send an e-mail to SolanoDA. We will try to answer your question as promptly as possible.
I have been served with a subpoena. Do I have to go to court?
Once you have been served with a subpoena, you must appear in court on the stated date and at the stated time unless excused by the Deputy District Attorney handling the case. Please call the subpoena information number listed on your subpoena after 5:00 p.m. on the day before your scheduled appearance. The recorded message will tell you if the case has been settled or continued, in which case you need not appear.
Otherwise, you must appear in court. If you fail to appear as directed, the judge may impose sanctions, including a fine and/or a sentence to jail. Be sure to bring your subpoena with you when you come to court.
I have been subpoenaed to testify in court. If I miss work, will the DA's Office pay my lost wages?
In order to ensure that our justice system is fair, it is the civic duty of all citizens to come to court and testify when subpoenaed as a witness. However, if you live in a city other than where the court is located and it is necessary for you to be in court beyond the noon recess, you may be reimbursed for the cost of lunch. If you live outside Solano County, you may be entitled to reimbursement for additional means and/or lodging.
I have been subpoenaed to testify in court. What if I cannot attend on the date or time stated in the subpoena?
If you have a conflict regarding the date and/or time on which you have been directed to appear in court, you must contact the Deputy DA handling the case BEFORE the scheduled appearance date to discuss the nature of the conflict. The name and telephone number of the Deputy DA responsible for the case is on your subpoena.
Unless you have been excused by the Deputy DA handling the case, you must appear in court. If you fail to appear as directed, the judge may impose sanctions, including a fine and/or a sentence to jail.
I received a check that bounced. Can the DA help?
In 1993, District Attorney David Paulson established a program to assist merchants and other victims of bounced checks. Since then, the District Attorney's Office has returned over $1.75 million in restitution.
If you receive a non-sufficient funds check, you should immediately contact the District Attorney's Bad Check Restitution Program, (866) 668-4690.
I think I have been cheated by a contractor, tradesman, shopkeeper, or other person who provides labor or services. Can the DA's Office help me?
The District Attorney's Consumer Fraud and Environmental Crimes Unit may be able to help. You will be asked to complete a complaint form and return it to the Unit for investigation and review. In the event that we cannot help you, we may be able to refer you to an agency that can.
Two of the most common agencies that you may contact are the Contractor's State Licensing Board, (800) 321-2752, or the Department of Consumer Affairs, (800) 344-9940.
I was cited and released by the police. Can you tell me if charges have been filed against me?
Unless you were cited directly to court for a minor offense or a traffic matter, the District Attorney will review the police reports and decide whether charges should be filed. After that review is complete, we can tell you if charges have been filed or if the matter is still pending.
NOTE: When you were released, you signed a promise to appear. In order to avoid possible additional charges, YOU MUST APPEAR IN COURT as directed on your citation.
I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the defendant's name and next court date?
If the District Attorney's Office has received the police reports and filed charges against the defendant, we can provide you with his or her name and the next court date. To obtain this information, please call the District Attorney's Office in Fairfield or Vallejo, depending on the area of the county in which the crime occurred.
I was the victim of a violent crime. Will the DA's Office pay my hospital bill or help me collect lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering?
The District Attorney's Office cannot directly compensate you for any loss you may have suffered. However, we may be able to assist you in filing a claim with the California Victim Compensation Program. This program can help victims of violent crimes with crime-related costs such as medical, mental health, funeral and burial expenses, home security, income or support loss, etc. For further information, contact the District Attorney's Victim/Witness Assistance Program, (707) 784-6844 or (707) 553-5400. You can also contact the California Victim Compensation Program by calling (800) 777-9229 or visting http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/victims.
With regard to possible compensation for pain and suffering or other losses, you may need to contact a private attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you can call the Lawyer Referral Service of the Solano County Bar Association, (707) 422-0127.
I would like a restraining order to keep my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other person away from me. Can the DA's Office do this for me?
The District Attorney's Office provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. We routinely help victims obtain restraining orders against defendants in criminal cases which are being prosecuted in Solano County.
If you wish to obtain a restraining order beyond that offered in a criminal proceeding, a packet containing the necessary court forms and brief instructions is available from the Clerk of the Superior Court in both Fairfield and Vallejo.
Victims of domestic violence may also contact SafeQuest Solano in Fairfield,(707) 425-7345, 422-7273, or 425-3422, in Vallejo, (707) 644-7273 or 557-6600, or toll-free at (800) 487-7233. This non-profit agency has advocates and counsellors who are available around the clock to provide emergency assistance.
For all other situations wherein you may be seeking a restraining order, you should contact a private attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the Solano County Bar Association, (707) 422-0127.
The judge ordered the defendant to pay restitution to me. So far, I have not received anything. Who can help me?
If the defendant was placed on "formal" or supervised probation, you should contact the Solano County Probation Department, (707) 784-7600. Ask to speak with the Deputy Probation Officer who is assigned to the defendant's case. You will need to provide the defendant's name and the criminal case number.
If the defendant was placed on "summary" or court probation, you should contact the judge of the Solano County Superior Court who imposed the order. In your letter to the judge, you will need to provide the defendant's name and the criminal case number. If you need further assistance, please contact the District Attorney's Office.
If the defendant was sentenced to prison, the California Department of Corrections can legally withhold a portion of his or her prison earnings and/or trust account deposits to help pay restitution. In order to have this done, however, the court must have entered an order for a specific amount of restitution to be paid to you by the defendant. Additionally, you will need to complete a Victim Services and Restitution Collection Request Form (CDC Form 1707) so that monies collected can be disbursed to you. To obtain this form or for more information about collecting restitution from a state prisoner, you may contact the District Attorney's Restitution Specialist, (707) 784-6994, or the Department of Corrections, Office of Victim Services and Restitution, (888) 562-5874.