“Notice of Complaint Filed” Letter from the Orange County District Attorney

February 5, 2023

Did you receive a letter from the Orange County District Attorney stating that a complaint was filed in Orange County Superior Court? This means that you have been formally charged with either a felony or misdemeanor crime. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to discuss your options and process in beating the charges. Having an experienced lawyer can greatly influence the outcome of your case.

Attorney John D. Rogers is an accomplished Orange County criminal defense attorney and board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. He is among the few criminal defense lawyers in Orange County who has achieved board certification in criminal law. This instills confidence in his clients that his professional experience, reputation, and ethics are among the highest in the legal community.

Why Did I Receive This Letter?

You received this letter from the Orange County District Attorney as a courtesy informing you that charges were filed in court. The letter states that charges were filed and that you must appear for your arraignment.

A complaint is an official charging document the prosecution files with the court to initiate criminal charges. Just because an individual is arrested or given a citation to appear does not mean charges have been officially filed. Instead, the prosecution must filed a complaint with the court.

A complaint may be filed at any of the following Orange County Superior Courthouse:

What Will Happen If I Do Not Attend Court?

If you do not attend the schedule court date, then the judge will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A warrant will be transmitted to the California Department of Justice database and subject you to arrest upon any police contact.

What Should I Expect at the First Court Appearance?

At the first court appearance in a criminal case (also known as an “arraignment“), the following typically occur:

  1. The charges against the defendant are read and the defendant is asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  2. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the judge may set a date for the next hearing, such as a pretrial conference, or a trial.
  3. The judge may also appoint a lawyer for the defendant, if the defendant does not have one and cannot afford to hire one.

The purpose of an arraignment is to inform the defendant of the charges and to ensure that the defendant understands their rights and responsibilities in the case.

Will I Be Taken Into Custody?

It’s important to get bail situated prior to appearing for your arraignment. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the offense, the judge could remand you into custody. Factors the judge will consider is your prior criminal history, whether violence was used against a victim, whether there was significant planning and sophistication involved, and the nature of the charge itself. It’s important to consult with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer to explain more.

Why Did It Take So Long to Charge Me?

Police departments submit dozens of criminal cases to the district attorney’s office each day. There are only so many filing deputies who review the cases to determine if charges are appropriate. Consequently, due to the backlog of cases, it could take weeks, if not months, for the prosecution to file formal charges.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Generally, the statute of limitations for felony charges is three years. For misdemeanor crimes, the statute of limitations is one (1) year. There are exceptions, for instance, sex crimes and crimes involving fraud.

Hiring an Experienced Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you received a letter from the Orange County district attorney informing you that a complaint was filed, then give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call today. Contact us to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer.

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