Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The District Attorney of Santa Clara County is Jeff Rosen, a veteran attorney who has prosecuted many high profile cases in Santa Clara County.
The District Attorney’s Office has three locations. Our central location is based in the heart of San Jose. In the south County, there is an office in Morgan Hill. For residents in the north County, there is an office in Palo Alto.
Most cases begin with a complaint and warrant request by a law enforcement agency. A prosecutor thoroughly reviews all reports and records concerning the case, including witness statements. The prosecutor also reviews the suspect's prior criminal or traffic record. At this stage, the prosecutor uses a Four-Prong Test to determine whether a person should be charged with a crime and, if so, what the crime should be. Occasionally, the reviewing prosecutor sends the case back to the police to conduct additional investigation.
Yes, there are many cases where the District Attorney’s Office does take crime reports. Crimes involving insurance fraud (specifically worker's compensation, health and disability insurance), elder fraud, or real estate fraud, elder or dependent adult abuse/neglect, consumer protection, high tech crimes, and the misconduct of public officials may be reported to our office. If the crime does not fall within these parameters, please contact the local law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. If the agency feels that a crime has been committed, they will forward the report to our Office for review. If this is an emergency, please dial 911.
We have approximately 196 prosecutors in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office assigned to different specialized teams.
Not every victim is required to testify in court. Many cases resolve prior to trial by way of a negotiated disposition. Negotiated dispositions are designed to balance the interests of both parties, as long as it protects the public and provides justice to the victim. This may involve adding, deleting, or changing the crimes charged in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea. Often times, there is an agreed upon sentence or sentencing range in a negotiated disposition. A victim’s concerns and rights are always part of a prosecutor’s consideration in negotiating a disposition.
Yes, the District Attorney’s Office can provide you with the name of the defendant and the next court date, if charges have been filed. Please feel free to call the Victim Services Unit at (408) 295-2656 to find out more information.
The District Attorney represents the People of the State of California and does not give legal advice on behalf of individual citizens. For private matters please contact a private attorney. Lawyer referral services are available through the Santa Clara County Bar Association and the California State Bar.
The California Victim Compensation Program (Cal VCP) can assist you and your family with out-of-pocket costs related to the crime, such as medical and counseling bills. Our Victim Services Unit can help you fill out the proper forms. Please call (408) 295-2656 to find out more information.
The Santa Clara County Department of Corrections provides a notification system called Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) that allows victims to receive telephone or email alerts regarding the release, transfer, or escape of a designated inmate. VINE is available in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Anyone can call 1-800-464-3568 or register online. All registrations are confidential.
It is the District Attorney's policy to assist victims of crimes in receiving restitution from convicted defendants in every appropriate case. Please contact our Office at 408-792-2599 or visit the Restitution page for additional information.
Yes, our Office has a committed team to deter, investigate and prosecute real estate fraud cases. The Real Estate Fraud Unit can be reached at (408) 792-2879 or [email protected].
Yes, our Office has a committed team to deter, investigate and prosecute elder and dependent adult financial abuse. The hotline for the DA’s Elder and Dependent Adult Financial Abuse Unit is 1 (855) DA-ELDER, or 1 (855) 323-5337. The number for Adult Protective Services is (408) 975-4900 or 1 (800) 414-2002.
All ads must be truthful and non-deceptive. If you believe that an ad is misleading, give our Consumer Unit a call at 408-792-2880 or file a complaint online.
The District Attorney’s Office represents the People of the State of California, not an individual victim. The District Attorney’s Office will make the final decision as to whether or not charges will be dismissed. However, a victim's wishes will always be taken into consideration.
The criminal process can be confusing. Visit the District Attorney's Anatomy of a Crime page to learn more about the various steps in a criminal case.
Proceedings in juvenile court are not open to the public. Juvenile court attendees generally only include the juvenile, parents or guardian, probation department representative, attorneys involved in the case, and certain court personnel. Access to juvenile records are also restricted and require a written petition to the Court for review and release. In certain circumstances including rape, murder or assault, a juvenile may be charged as an adult. In those cases, the juvenile will appear in adult court. Adult court proceedings are open to the public.
No. Prosecutors are governed by a code of ethics that prohibits talking to a criminal defendant who is already represented by an attorney.
Yes, a subpoena is an order of the court. If you fail to come to court, the judge may impose a fine or a jail sentence. Be sure to bring your subpoena with you to court.
Unless it is part of a current felony complaint, the District Attorney’s Office may not discuss a person's prior record.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes misdemeanor and felony crimes throughout Santa Clara County. The jurisdiction covers over 1,300 square miles, is comprised of 15 cities, and is the largest prosecuting office in Northern California. We serve a population of about 1.8 million people.
The District Attorney has a rich history dating back to 1850. To learn more, you may visit History of the District Attorney’s Office.
Please call 408-299-7400 or email [email protected] any concern you may have about the District Attorney’s Office and we will respond by telephone or in writing.
You may contact the District Attorney’s Office with any question you may have. We are located at 70 West Hedding, West Wing in San Jose. Our telephone number is 408-299-7400. Or feel free to send us an email at [email protected].