Print Version
Previous PageFile uploaded: 1/24/2019

Rule 4. Prosecution byinformation.


(a) Commencing aprosecution. A prosecution may be commenced by filing aninformation.  The information shall be filed in a format required byrules of the Judicial Council.


(b) Contents ofinformation. An information shall contain:


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


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


(b)(1)(B) Otheridentifying information may be provided in accordance with rules ofthe Judicial Council, provided the information does not include non-publicrecords.


(b)(2) Numbered countsusing the name given to the offense by statute or ordinance, or stating inconcise terms the definition of the offense sufficient to give the defendant notice ofthe charge.


(b)(2)(A) Theprosecution may allege alternate theories of the same offense in a single countor in multiple counts.


(b)(3) Unless otherwisecontained in filings accompanying the Information, a booking number if thedefendant was arrested and detained on charges related to theinformation.  Any pretrial release conditions shall be included, suchas:


(b)(3)(A) monetary bail or other pretrial release conditions setby 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 pretrialsupervision agency; and


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


(c) Felonies andclass A misdemeanors. If a felony or class A violationis alleged, and in all cases requesting a warrant, an information shall:


(c)(1) contain or be accompanied by a statement of factssufficient to support probable cause for the charged offense or offenses. Theinformation need not include facts such as time, place, means, intent, manner,value, and ownership unless necessary to charge the offense. Supportingphysical materials such as money, securities, written instruments, pictures,statutes, and judgments may be identified using names or by describing the documents.  Neitherpresumptions of law nor matters of judicial notice need be stated, and


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


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


(e) Bill ofparticulars. When facts not set out in an information are required toinform a defendant of the nature and cause of the offense charged, so asto enable the defendant to prepare a defense, the defendant may filea written motion for a bill of particulars. The motion shall be filed atarraignment or within 14 days thereafter, or at such later time as the courtmay permit. The court may, on its own motion, direct the filing of a bill ofparticulars. A bill of particulars may be amended or supplemented at anytime subject to such conditions as justice may require. The request for andcontents of a bill of particulars shall be limited to a statement of factualinformation needed to set forth the essential elements of the particularoffense charged.


Effective May 1, 2017