Reporting a Crime
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 the county, call 911.
If you have information concerning a crime and wish to remain anonymous, you may call 78-Crime (782-7463)
Q. Where do I report consumer fraud?
You can contact either the Arizona Attorney General's Office in Phoenix, 1-800-352-8431
For problems with bad checks, contact the County Attorney's Bad Check Program (928) 329-2260.
Q. What number do I call to report a case to Child Protective Services?
That number is 1-800-330-1822.
Q. How do I get help if someone in my home is being physically or sexually abused?
If this is an emergency, call 911. If not, the County Attorney's Office only receives cases through law enforcement agencies. If the incident occurred in the city, call the Yuma Police Department at (928) 783-4421. If the incident occurred in Yuma County, call the Sheriff Office at (928) 329-2250.
Q. How do I get an Order of Protection to keep my partner from harming me or my children?
If you live in the Yuma city limits go to City Court, 1515 S. Second Avenue, or phone (928) 783-3381. If you live in the Somerton city limits go to the City Magistrate, 350 W. Main Street or phone (928) 627-8152. If you live in the San Luis city limits go to San Luis City Court, 767 N. First Street, or phone (928) 627-2020. If you live outside the City limits, go to the Justice Court closest to you. Justice Court Precinct #1, 168 S. Second Avenue, Yuma, or phone 329-2180. Justice Court Precinct #2, 350 S. Main Street, Somerton, or phone (928) 627-2722. Justice Court Precinct #3, 10260 Dome Street, Wellton, 785-3321.
Q. Whom do I call for landlord/tenant problems?
Call Community Legal Services at (928) 782-7511.
Going to Trial
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 that may carry a prison sentence in the State Department of Corrections.
Q. What is the difference between Justice Court and Superior Court?
Misdemeanor cases occurring in Yuma County are tried in the Yuma County Justice Court. Felonies are tried in the Yuma 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 these is $300.
Q. Where can I get a police report?
If your case is set for a pretrial conference and you are the defendant, 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 a victim or witness, you can obtain a police report from the law enforcement agency involved at a small charge.
Q. How can I contact the prosecutor assigned to my case?
You can call (928) 329-2260. You will need to know the defendant's name, and if possible the court case number. The prosecutors are often in court all day, so please be prepared to leave a message with a phone number where you can be called both before and after 5 p.m.
Q. How can I get restitution for my loss?
If you have suffered a monetary loss, such as damage to your home or medical bills, because of a crime committed against you, the judge may order restitution in the amount of your loss if the defendant was found guilty.
Q. Do I have to testify at a trial if I don't want to?
If you are the defendant, you have a 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 prosecutor in the case.
Q. What happens at an arraignment?
This is the first appearance a defendant makes in court unless the person was taken to jail. The judge will tell the defendant what the charge is and ask if he or she pleads guilty or not guilty.
Q. What happens at a pretrial conference?
The prosecutor and defense 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 a defendant, you must attend all court appearances. If a problem occurs on the day of trial, and you don't have an attorney call the court as soon possible. Otherwise, call your attorney as soon as possible. Only a Judge can grant you a continuance.
Q. How can I get an attorney if I can't afford to hire one?
You are not entitled to an attorney in all misdemeanor cases, there are some where you are entitled to an attorney. In 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. A fee of $20 is required for this service.
Q. How can I apply for a job at the Yuma County Attorney's Office?
The listing of all Yuma County open positions is available two ways:
• It is posted at the Yuma County Administration Building, 198 S. Main Street, first floor, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The listing also is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, through the Yuma County Human Resources webpage
The listing is updated every Friday. Look for positions that are specifically identified as being in the County Attorney's Office. They are the following:
• Attorney positions in the Criminal, or Civil Divisions. Along with a standard Yuma County application, please submit a resume and writing sample. They remain on file for six months, and you will be considered for other openings. A criminal history check and fingerprinting is required.
• Non-attorney positions are available in all divisions. A standard county application form needs to be completed. Applications remain on file for six months, and you will be considered for other openings. A criminal history check and fingerprinting is required.
For more information about employment opportunities:
198 S. Main Street
Yuma, Arizona 85364
Q. Do volunteers assist the County Attorney's office with its responsibilities?
We welcome volunteers, who help with a number of tasks which include things such as assisting victims of crime, filing and data entry. All volunteers must be fingerprinted and agree to submit to a criminal history background check. If you would like to find out more about how to become a volunteer, please contact our office at (928) 817-4300.
Q. I am a victim. Can I drop the charges?
Many people incorrectly believe a victim has the power to "press charges" or "drop the charges" against the accused. All crimes are considered offenses against the State, not only the victim; therefore, the Yuma County Attorney's Office prosecutes criminal complaints on behalf of the State of Arizona. Only the attorney prosecuting the case can decide to file or dismiss charges, though the victim's opinion is important in that decision. A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a victim's request not to proceed with a prosecution, including the nature and extent of the defendant's criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and future danger to the community.
Q. What are my rights as a victim?
Article 2 Section 2.1 of the Arizona State Constitution provides for the right of victims of a crime. Visit our Victims' Service page for a list of those rights.
Q. I am a victim of a violent crime. Will the prosecuting attorney pay for my hospital bills and lost wages?
The Victim Compensation Fund may be able to help you with out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, loss of support and mental health. See Victim Services.
Q. I am having trouble dealing with the emotional impact of the crime. Where can I get counseling?
Violent crimes often leave more emotional scars than physical ones. To find a counselor near you, contact Victim Services at (928) 329-2133 or your advocate for an appropriate referral.
Q. I need legal advice. Can I speak to an attorney?
The Yuma County Attorney's Office cannot give legal advice on private legal issues. However, there are free or reduced rate legal clinics available in Yuma County. For more information, contact Community Legal Services (Legal Aid) at (928) 782-7511.
Q. What if I have a question regarding my property tax bill or property assessment? Is the Civil Division the office to contact?
No. Depending on the issue, questions concerning your property tax bill should be directed to the Yuma County Treasurer, and those concerning the value assessment of your property should be directed to the Yuma County Assessor.
Q. I have questions regarding the procedure for circulating a petition, who should I contact?
Questions regarding elections procedure may be directed to the Yuma County Elections Officer. In addition, you may contact the Yuma County Recorder for questions surrounding voter registration and early ballot voting.
Q. My wife would like to adopt my son, who is her step-son. Can you help?
Yes, the Civil Division can assist if the matter is a consensual adoption. Consensual means that the parent will voluntarily relinquish his or her parental rights and agree to the adoption.
Q. As County Attorney, can you provide me with legal advice regarding personal matters?
No, unfortunately, the County Attorney may only advise those persons or entities which Arizona statute allows. They are generally limited to County officials and department or agency heads. You may wish to contact a private attorney, or Yuma Community Legal Services at (928) 782-7511.
Q. If an entity is one designated as a “Yuma County” entity, doesn’t that mean the County Attorney represents it?
Not necessarily. Many entities refer to themselves as such, but are sometimes agencies of other governmental units, such as Yuma County Superior Court, Yuma County Juvenile Detention Center, and Yuma County Adult Probation. These are each State agencies and are represented by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Others may simply be corporations or businesses like the Yuma County Humane Society, Yuma County Water Users Association, or Yuma County Airport Authority.
Q. I have a problem with the condition of the road in front of my home, who should I contact?
If the road is located in the County, you may contact the Yuma County Department of Public Works, at (928) 341-2500.