An Overview of the San Francisco Criminal Court



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What Is the San Francisco Criminal Court?


The San Francisco Criminal Court is a division of the San Francisco Superior Court, which is part of the California Superior Court system. The court has jurisdiction over various criminal cases ranging from mild infractions to more serious felonies under the California Penal Code.

So, if you or your loved one are facing criminal charges in San Francisco County or the surrounding area, the trial would likely take place at this court.

The possibility of going before a judge makes most people nervous, especially when they are the defendant in a criminal case. If this is the case for you, understanding how the court works can help you prepare yourself before your hearing date and overcome most, if not all, of your nervousness. 

Read further to learn about navigating the San Francisco Criminal Court and its systems and how a criminal law attorney might be able to help you.

Cases Handled By the San Francisco Criminal Court


The court conducts all kinds of criminal proceedings, such as arraignment, trials, and probation hearings in different criminal cases, including the following:

  • Misdemeanor cases: A misdemeanor case at the San Francisco Criminal Court involves a misdemeanor charge and sometimes includes an additional infraction charge. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include first-time DUIs and other traffic violations. The penalties for such offenses generally include imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year or payment of a fine of up to $1000.

  • Felony cases: A felony case in the court involves an independent felony charge or a combination of a felony charge and a misdemeanor. Felonies are the most serious offenses under California law, and you could spend years in jail if convicted for such.

The San Francisco Criminal Court also handles applications for criminal expungement. If you have a criminal record and want to clear it up so that no charges or convictions appear on background checks, you can apply to this court. There are, however, several eligibility requirements, including that the conviction be from California. You can contact an experienced criminal law attorney to assess your case and see if you qualify.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that this court does not handle parking citation cases. So, if that’s what you’re dealing with, look to the San Francisco Traffic Court instead.

How to Reach the San Francisco Criminal Court


The San Francisco Criminal Court is located in the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco, and is one of the busiest courts in the country, with a wide variety of cases being heard every day.

Most of the criminal cases in the county are heard at the Hall of Justice, but a few criminal cases are also heard at the Civic Center Courthouse at 400 McAllister St. and the Community Justice Center at 575 Polk St.

If your case is coming up soon, you’ll need to confirm where it is being held. You can do that by checking the electronic case display monitor at the courthouse from Monday to Friday during business hours. You can also use the case calendar option to get more details about your case online.

For further inquiries, you can call the Acting Court Manager for Criminal Operations at (415) 551-0665.

Finding Criminal Records/Case Information at the San Francisco Criminal Court


If you’re facing criminal charges at the San Francisco criminal court or you’ve been convicted there, you can access your case information/court records by sending a written request to window 7 or 8 of room 101 at the Hall of Justice. You can also request your San Francisco criminal records by mail. If you find the process challenging, contact the records clerk or ask an experienced attorney familiar with the court’s processes for help.

The San Francisco Criminal Court also allows members of the public to access the court’s docket. Record viewing is usually available from 8.30 AM to 12.30 PM each working day. You can also contact the court at 415-551-0651 to schedule a viewing appointment from 1. PM to 3. PM.

Can a Criminal Charge be Expunged in San Francisco?


In San Francisco, CA 94103, the possibility of expunging a criminal charge from your record depends on various factors, including the nature of the offense and how it was adjudicated. The criminal division of the justice administration court administrator’s office typically handles such matters.

Misdemeanor or infraction violations have a higher likelihood of being expunged compared to felony violations. The criminal court conducts trials and preliminary hearings, and it’s essential to consult criminal courtroom clerks for specific case details.

Notably, criminal records note that expungement is a judicial process, not the court or the sheriff’s department’s administrative function.

Serious traffic violations may be handled separately in criminal and traffic hearings, often in the justice building or the master calendar department. Mental health proceedings and comprehensive collections unit involvement can also affect expungement eligibility.

Therefore, it’s crucial to consult a legal expert to navigate the complexities of San Francisco County Jail records, criminal master cal, and other aspects of the justice system.

How a Lawyer Can Help


Navigating the proceedings and processes at criminal courts could be difficult for people unfamiliar with the law. If you’re facing charges at the San Francisco Criminal Court or need to deal with the court for any reason, it might be better to get help from an experienced criminal law attorney to represent you and protect your rights in such situations.

Remember, if you’re seeking legal representation for a criminal offense, it is important to hire a legal representative whose practice areas cover the crime you were accused of.

If you have further questions about the San Francisco Criminal Court or need representation for your misdemeanor case, talk to a DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson. We have successfully handled several cases at the San Francisco Criminal Court and can put our extensive criminal law practice experience to use for your benefit. Contact us as soon as possible for quality and transparent legal representation.