FAQs
Dealing with the criminal justice system can sometimes be confusing. We hope the following will help to answer your questions.  If you still have questions, feel free to email us at pimacounty.attorney@pcao.pima.gov or call (520) 740-5600.

Reporting a CrimeReturn to top
  • Q. How do I report a crime?
  • If you believe a crime has been committed, you should contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.

    For an emergency anywhere in Pima County, call 911.

    If you have information concerning a crime that is not an emergency and wish to remain anonymous, you may call (520) 882-7463 or
    88-CRIME .

  • Q. Where do I report consumer fraud?
  • You can contact either the Arizona Attorney General's Office in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or the City Attorney's Office at (520) 791-4886.  For problems with bad checks, contact the County Attorney's Bad Check Program at (520) 740-4100.
Victim ServicesReturn to top
  • Q. I am a crime victim. What are my rights?
  • Crime victims in Arizona have numerous constitutionally protected rights:

    http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ArizonaRevisedStatutes
    Chapter 40 deals with crime victims' rights in Arizona.

    http://www.azleg.state.az.us
    Arizona Crime Victims' Bill of Rights

  • Q. I received a notice from the Pima County Attorney's Office. As a victim, am I required to attend?

  •  Victims are entitled to be informed of and present at court proceedings related to the case in which they are identified as the victim. Unless the victim receives a subpoena which requires attendance at a hearing or trial, he or she is not required to attend.

  • Q. Can I get restitution for my economic loss?
  • If a crime victim has incurred a monetary loss such as property damage or medical bills because of a crime committed against them and if the defendant is found guilty, the judge may order restitution in the amount of the loss as part of the sentence. Victims of crime in Arizona have a Constitutional right to receive prompt restitution. If charges are filed in your case and you would like to seek restitution, contact a Victim Advocate at the Victim Services Division of the Pima County Attorney's Office at (520) 740-5525, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Q. What is Victim Compensation?
  • The State of Arizona has a Crime Victim Compensation Program that offers financial help to victims of crime. Claims are awarded by a local Crime Victim Compensation Board in each county. An innocent victim or a secondary victim (a person who is affected by the crime) may apply for help with out-of-pocket costs in the county in which the crime took place. Funds to pay these claims come from fees and fines paid by convicted defendants. This fund of last resort can cover:

    • Medical or dental expenses
    • Mental health counseling
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • Crime scene cleanup
    • Lost wages


    A Crime Victim Compensation Board determines awards through an application process. The Crime Victim Compensation Board does not compensate for loss of property or property damage. There are conditions that must be met to be eligible for compensation, and eligibility does not guarantee an award. To obtain an application or receive more information about Crime Victim Compensation in Pima County, call (520) 740-5525 or click here.

  • Q. How can I drop charges against the person who is being prosecuted?
  • In criminal cases the defendant is charged by the State of Arizona, not by the victim. Although a victim may have made the report, it is the State that is responsible for the prosecution of a crime. In Arizona, crime victims are entitled to certain rights such as the right to confer with a Prosecutor; however, the victim cannot file or dismiss criminal charges.

  • Q. How do I get a Restraining Order? Where do I get one?

  • http://www.cosc.co.pima.az.us/home.asp?Include=pages/order_of_protection.htm

    There are two different types of restraining orders:
    • An Order of Protection is a court order intended to prevent acts of domestic violence. It can be filed against someone who is:
      • a spouse or former spouse,
      • a person you now or did live with,
      • someone you have a child with, or
      • a person with whom you have or had a dating relationship.

      The person you want an order against must have committed or threatened to commit an act of domestic violence within the last year. A child may not be included in an Order of Protection if the person against whom you are seeking the order is the child's parent, unless that person has committed domestic violence against the child. In cases involving children, you must seek custody orders in a separate action in Superior Court.

    •  An Injunction Against Harassment prohibits a person from harassing, annoying, or alarming another person. An injunction can be sought in situations involving neighbors or strangers.

    • A person who believes they themselves or a family member are or might become victims may submit a request (petition) to any court for the issuance of an Injunction against Harassment.

      A petition for either type of restraining order may be filed in any court Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The following courts are centrally located in or near downtown Tucson:



  • Q. I am having difficulty enrolling in VINE. What can I do?

  • http://tpdinternet.tucsonaz.gov/services/vine.html

    The Tucson VINE program is provided by the Tucson Police Department. It is not affiliated with the Pima County Attorney's Office or the Victim Services Division. Information available through VINE pertains only to crimes investigated by Tucson Police Department. TPD can be reached at (520) 791-4444.

  • Q. I want to give input on a case. What can I do?
  • As a victim of a crime in Arizona, you have certain rights, including the right to confer with the prosecutor upon request. You also have the right to provide input on decisions made in reference to the prosecution of your case. To provide input or to "opt in" for your rights, contact a Victim Advocate at Victim Services Division of the Pima County Attorney's Office at (520) 740-5525, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Q. When is the next court date involving my case?
  • If you are identified as the victim in a case, you have a right, upon request, to notification of upcoming court dates. If you are not receiving notification and you would like to request your right to notice, contact the Victim Services Division of the Pima County Attorney's Office, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (520) 740-5525. You may ask to speak with a Victim Advocate. If you are already signed up for notification and have moved, please call to provide up-to-date contact information so you can stay informed. Crime victims' addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential.

    There are various different locations where hearings are held, depending on which jurisdiction is prosecuting the case, how the case is being charged, where the crime occurred, the age of the defendant, and the stage of the case in the legal process.

    The Pima County Attorney's Office prosecutes all felonies that occur in Pima County, as well as misdemeanor offenses that occur in the unincorporated areas of Pima County.

    If you are listed as a victim of a felony case that occurred in Pima County, and the defendant is an adult, you can search the Pima County Superior Court Calendar here: http://www.sc.pima.gov/?tabid=76

    If you are listed as the victim of a misdemeanor offense that occurred in one of the unincorporated areas of Pima County, and the defendant is an adult, you can search for case information here: http://www.jp.pima.gov/casesearch3/

    If the crime you are a victim of is a misdemeanor, and the crime occurred within a municipality, it is unlikely that The Pima County Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case. The prosecution of your case will be handled by the municipality it occurred in.

    If you have access to the Internet, court dates are public record and the following links below might be helpful to you.


  • Q. I am a crime victim. Do I have to get my own attorney?
  • You do not need to hire an attorney to criminally prosecute the defendant. In criminal cases, the Prosecutor is a public attorney who represents the State of Arizona. The Defendant may have an attorney appointed or retained. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent your interests. However, the Victim Services Division is committed to assisting crime victims, and most victims opt to utilize the services of a Victim Advocate to obtain information about the progress of the criminal case and their rights as victims as the case progresses through the criminal justice system. Victim Advocates are not attorneys, but are knowledgeable professionals who are available to assist crime victims with various needs and concerns pertaining to the prosecution of the criminal case.

  • Q. Where can I get a copy of a police report?
  • If you are a victim of a crime, you are entitled to one free copy of each police report for which you are listed as a victim. You can obtain a police report from the law enforcement agency that took the report or investigated the crime. Police reports are considered Public Records, although some information, such as addresses or phone numbers, may be redacted from the report. Depending on the age of the report or the status of an investigation, all or part of the report may not be available. To request a copy of a report, you must be able to give an approximate date and location, the name of the involved person(s) and/or the type of incident reported.

    For cases that were reported to the Tucson Police Department, visit the TPD website:
    http://tpdinternet.tucsonaz.gov/Services/

    For cases that were reported to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, visit the PCSD website:
    http://pimasheriff.org/department-services/online-services/online-reporting-and-public-records/

  • Q. I want to get into the Witness Protection Program. Can you help with that?
  • The Pima County Attorney's Office Victim Services Division and the Federal Protection Program are two separate programs through different government entities. They have very different roles.

    The Witness Protection Program is a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Marshals Service. It provides for the security, health and safety of government witnesses and their immediate dependents who are living in danger as a result of their testimony against drug traffickers, terrorists, organized crime members, and other major criminals.

    Determination that a witness qualifies for Witness protection is made by the United States Attorney General. The decision is based on recommendations by U.S. Attorneys assigned to major federal cases throughout the nation.

    Individuals who are interested in finding out more information about the Witness Protection Program can visit www.usmarshals.gov/witsec/index.html or call the Arizona office at (602) 382-8767.

Domestic ProblemsReturn to top
Going to TrialReturn to top
  • Q. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
  • A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a fine and no more than six months in jail.  A felony is a crime punishable by a prison sentence in the State Department of Corrections.

  • Q. What is the difference between Justice Court and Superior Court?
  • Misdemeanor cases occurring in Pima County are tried in the Pima County Justice Court.  Felonies are tried in the Pima County Superior Court.

  • Q. What is the penalty for a misdemeanor?
  • Class 1 misdemeanor:  Maximum of 6 months in jail, $2,500 fine, 3 years probation.
    Class 2 misdemeanor:  Maximum of 4 months in jail, $750 fine, 2 years probation.
    Class 3 misdemeanor:  Maximum of 30 days in jail, $500 fine, 1 year probation.
    There are also petty offenses. The maximum fine for a petty offense is $300.

  • Q. Where can I get a police report?
  • If you are the defendant and your case is set for a pretrial conference, your lawyer will get a free copy.  If you want to see the report more quickly, you may obtain it directly from the law enforcement agency at a small charge.

    If you are the defendant and your case is set directly for trial, your lawyer may pick up your police report and other disclosures at no charge on the 11th floor of the Pima County Attorney's Office, 32 N. Stone Ave., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Note that it will not be available until 20 days after your arraignment.

    If you are a victim or witness, you can obtain a police report from the law enforcement agency involved.

  • Q. How can I contact the prosecutor assigned to my case?
  • If you are a victim or a witness and the defendant in your case is charged with a misdemeanor, you can call (520) 740-5658.  In a felony case, call (520) 740-5600.  You will need to know the defendant's name, the court case number, and, if possible, the date of the next hearing.  The prosecutors are often in court all day, so please be prepared to leave a message giving a phone number where you can be reached both before and after 5 p.m.

  • Q. How can I get restitution for my loss?
  • If you have incurred medical expenses or suffered a monetary loss because of a crime committed against you, the judge may order restitution in the amount of your loss if the defendant was found guilty.  If the defendant does not pay the amount of restitution ordered, you may notify the judge or the prosecutor or file a restitution lien against the defendant's property.

  • Q. Do I have to testify at a trial if I don't want to?
  • If you are the defendant, you have a constitutional right to remain silent, and the judge and jury are not allowed to hold your silence against you.  If you are a witness or victim, however, you must testify.  If you have concerns about testifying, talk to the assigned victim advocate or the prosecutor in the case.

  • Q. What happens at an Arraignment?
  • An Arraignment is a defendant's first formal appearance in court before a judge. At arraignment, the judge will tell the defendant what the charge is and ask if the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty.

  • Q. What happens at a pretrial conference?
  • If you are the defendant, the prosecutor and your attorney (or you, if you have no attorney), will meet with a judge to focus on the issues of the case, obtain rulings on motions and deal with other matters that contribute to a fair and efficient settlement of your case. In addition, the judge will set a date for the trial.

  • Q. What should I do if I will be late or can't make a court appearance?
  • If you are the defendant, you must attend all court appearances.  If you have a problem before the day of a misdemeanor trial, you have to file a motion to get a new court date.  Forms are available at the courthouse at 115 N. Church.  If a problem occurs on the day of the trial, call the judge as quickly as possible.  In felony trials, call your attorney as soon as possible.  Note that only the judge can grant you a continuance.

  • Q. How can I get an attorney if I can't afford to hire one?
  • If you are the defendant, you don't have to have an attorney for a misdemeanor trial.  For a felony trial, the judge will determine whether your income makes you eligible for a court-appointed attorney.

  • Q. What if I can't pay all of my fine at once?
  • The judge can set up a time payment program for you, based on your income. 

Employment OpportunitiesReturn to top
Q. How can I apply for a job at the Pima County Attorney's Office?
  • Open Pima County positions are listed in three places:
    • Online at our employment page, here.
    • Posted at the Pima County Human Resources Department in the County Administration West Building, 150 West Congress, 4th floor. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • By telephone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling the Pima County Job Line, (520) 740-3530.

  • The listing of open Pima County positions is updated every Friday. Look for positions that are specifically identified as being in the County Attorney's Office.

  • For more information about employment opportunities, visit:
  • Pima County
    Department of Human Resources
    150 West Congress, 4th floor
    Tucson, Arizona 85701
OtherReturn to top
Q. Do volunteers assist the County Attorney's office with its responsibilities?
  • We welcome volunteers, who help with everything from assisting victims of crime, to filing and helping prosecutors prepare their cases.  If you would like to find out more about how to become a volunteer, call Pat Wiedhopf, Director of Volunteer Services, (520)740-4096.
32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701