Visalia Court (Tulare County Superior Court)

The Tulare County Superior Court serves over 440,000 people in Tulare County. The Visalia Court is open on Mondays through Fridays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The court is closed on holidays. The lobby area is only open to the public from 8:00 a.m. . to 4:00 p.m. The divisions of the Tulare County Superior Court are:
• Appeals
• Civil
• Collections
• Criminal
• Family Court Services
• Family Law
• Juvenile
• Probate
• Small Claims
• Traffic

The Visalia Court handles criminal cases. The court has jurisdiction over felony and misdemeanor charges. First appearances, arraignments and preliminary hearings are all held in the Visalia Court.

Individuals visiting the Visalia Court should remain aware of their surroundings. The area is known for its high crime rate. People should try to leave their vehicles in a secured parking space and also be sure to travel during the day. If one must be in the area at nighttime, another individual should accompany him or her. There are numerous restaurants around the courthouse, so finding place to grab a bite to eat should not be a problem. Restaurants are all within walking distance of the courthouse too. There are also some beautiful parks in the area, which can also provide a relaxing place to clear one’s mind before going into court for the day.

Criminal Procedure at the Visalia Court

The main parts of the pretrial phase include the first appearance, bail hearings, evidentiary hearings, pretrial conference, arraignment and preliminary hearings. The first appearance allows the defendant an opportunity to enter a plea and to also request an attorney. The judge will be sure to make an inquiry of whether the defendant requires an attorney. If the judge fails to make this inquiry, then he or she has violated the constitutional rights of the defendant. The next major pretrial hearing for the defendant is the arraignment. The arraignment is the time in which the court reads the formal charges aloud to the defendant. The defendant has the option of entering a plea at this time too. An attorney can help a defendant prepare for an arraignment and other pretrial phases that precede the trial. The rules for an arraignment hearing vary depending on whether one is charged with a felony or misdemeanor.

At the arraignment, bail will also bet set. The defendant will also be released on his or her own recognizance. At the preliminary hearing, the judicial officer will then determine whether the defendant should remain in custody or be released. If there is evidence that a person poses a threat to society, then he or she will remain in custody.

Bail Bonds Help Defendants

A bail bond can help take the stress off of a defendant after an arrest. Posting a bail bond enables a defendant to be released from custody. He or she does not have to face the unsavory conditions of a jail cell. The bail bond company sets the terms for the bond, such as the interest rate and type of collateral that will be accepted in exchange for the bond.

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