Rule 4. Prosecution by information.

(a) A prosecution may be commenced by filing an information.  The information shall be filed in a format required by rules of the Judicial Council.

(b) An information shall contain:

(b)(1) If known, the defendant's name, date of birth, and last known address.

(b)(1)(A) If the name of the defendant is not known, the prosecution shall identify the defendant as John or Jane Doe, and shall provide any known identifying information.

(b)(1)(B) Other identifying information may be provided in accordance with rules of the Judicial Council, provided the information does not include non-public records.

(b)(2) Numbered counts using the name given to the offense by statute or ordinance, or stating in concise terms the definition of the offense sufficient to give the defendant notice of the charge.

(b)(2)(A) The prosecution may allege alternate theories of the same offense in a single count or in multiple counts.

(b)(3) Unless otherwise contained in filings accompanying the Information, a booking number if the defendant was arrested and detained on charges related to the information.  Any pretrial release conditions shall be included, such as:

(b)(3)(A) monetary bail or other pretrial release conditions set by the magistrate when determining probable cause at arrest;

(b)(3)(B) whether the defendant was denied pretrial release;

(b)(3)(C) whether the defendant was released to a pretrial supervision agency; and

(b)(3)(D) whether the defendant is in custody.

(c) If a felony or class A violation is alleged, and in all cases requesting a warrant, an information shall:

(c)(1) contain or be accompanied by a statement of facts sufficient to support probable cause for the charged offense or offenses. The information need not include facts such as time, place, means, intent, manner, value, and ownership unless necessary to charge the offense. Supporting physical materials such as money, securities, written instruments, pictures, statutes, and judgments may be identified using names or by describing the documents.  Neither presumptions of law nor matters of judicial notice need be stated, and

(c)(2) be reviewed for sufficiency by a judge of the court in which it is filed.  If the judge determines from the information, or from any supporting statements or affidavits, that there is probable cause to believe the offenses have been committed and that the accused committed them, the judge shall proceed under rule 6.  If the judge determines there is not probable cause, the judge shall return the information to the prosecutor and dismiss the case without prejudice if a sufficient information is not filed within 28 days.

(d) The court may permit an information to be amended at any time before trial has commenced so long as the substantial rights of the defendant are not prejudiced. If an additional or different offense is charged, the defendant has the right to a preliminary hearing on that offense as provided under these rules and any continuance as necessary to meet the amendment. The court may permit an information to be amended after the trial has commenced but before verdict if no additional or different offense is charged and the substantial rights of the defendant are not prejudiced. After verdict, an information may be amended so as to state the offense with such particularity as to bar a subsequent prosecution for the same offense upon the same set of facts.

(e) When facts not set out in an information are required to inform a defendant of the nature and cause of the offense charged, so as to enable him to prepare his defense, the defendant may file a written motion for a bill of particulars. The motion shall be filed at arraignment or within 14 days thereafter, or at such later time as the court may permit. The court may, on its own motion, direct the filing of a bill of particulars. A bill of particulars may be amended or supplemented at any time subject to such conditions as justice may require. The request for and contents of a bill of particulars shall be limited to a statement of factual information needed to set forth the essential elements of the particular offense charged.


Effective May 1, 2017